December 25th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Shooter that lured firefighters left note: Killing is what I do best

The shooter who ambushed and killed two upstate New York firefighters Monday left a note behind indicating his intentions, police said Tuesday.

"I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best - killing people," the 3-page typewritten note said.

New York town's 'Firefighter of the Year' shot dead responding to blaze

Authorities haven't given a motive for the latest violence, which left two firefighters dead and two other firefighters and an off-duty police officer from a nearby town wounded after they responded to the call of a fire.

And they can't ask the shooter, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head around 11 a.m., about six hours after first calls about the fire came in.

Investigators believe the suspect, William Spengler, 62, set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.

N.Y. man who shot dead 2 firefighters killed grandmother in 1980

"It appears that it was a trap," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by Mr. Spengler, who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders."

In chilling audio heard over the scanner, a West Webster Fire Department firefighter reported "multiple firemen shot" - including himself, with wounds to his lower back and lower leg - and "shots still being fired."

For several hours after that Monday, the threat of gunfire stopped firefighters from battling the blaze and forced police SWAT teams to evacuate 33 people in the neighborhood of small, waterfront homes.

Eventually, seven houses were "totally destroyed" by the fire. Although the fires were under control as of 2:30 p.m. ET, by then authorities still hadn't been able to get in any of the homes. Pickering said it's possible more victims could be inside.

soundoff (467 Responses)
  1. SANTA©

    @Hamsta, I will return to your abode in the Ninth Ward and take all of your Christmas presents away. Be reasonable.

    December 25, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      SANTA©N you were very good to me today.
      Thank you.

      December 25, 2012 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Down with tornadoes!

    Once again the lack of good healthcare cost more innocent lives. The madness won't stop if you only act after the fact and do basically nothing to prevent any of it happening again. Time to take over all healthcare in the USA to protect everyone.

    December 26, 2012 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Steven

    It's madness!

    December 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Acgogo

    Guess what? This is the FACE of the NRA. Anyone who buys an assault weapon should have that guy's face tattooed on them.

    December 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Teapatriot

    gun = self defense in most cases

    gun = nut's idiocy in some cases

    second occurence does not invalidate first

    December 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Teapatriot

    Hitler started with "registration" then confiscation of guns. then WW II and holocaust. beware. road to hell was paved with good intentions.

    December 26, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmyjam048

      Just the kind of ill-conceived manipulative response we could expect from the American Taliban.
      Our kids are being mowed down like wheat from mentally deranged people who could easily and legally obtain guns and you want to use Hitler to support your case?

      We must evolve or die.

      December 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      That's funny because the shooter looks a lot like your typical Tea Party bumpkin.

      January 1, 2013 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • bobalu

      As a Canadian this concerns me. My government enforces gun control laws. I had no idea their master plan was to conquer the world, create a master race and thrown everyone else into the ovens. Thanks for the warning.

      January 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • christina

      I love how you call other Americans Taliban terrorists. This just goes to show that you are brainwashed to believe that your own people are your enemy!

      January 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jimmyjam048

      TEA Party= Traitors Embracing Anarchy.
      Yes, they are America's Taliban.

      March 29, 2014 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  7. Sandra LeVin

    Pure evil. Glad he took himself out – save the taxpayer the cost of incarcerating him for the remainder of his life, endless appeals, etc. etc.

    December 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sandra LeVin

    How is this about race or Sandy Hook? It's about an EVIL monster who did us all a favor by taking himself out.

    December 27, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jimmyjam048

    So your solution to the problem of mentally deranged people legally obtaining guns and then killing innocent children is to make a racist comment?

    And then try to play dumb and claim, you are not a racist?
    If you weren't a racist you would not have to claim to not be one nor would you have made a comment that displayed the bigotry and hate that resides in your heart.

    December 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jimmyjam048

    Roderick, I agree with you 100%.
    But you and I both know that you cannot reason with a fool.
    We also both know that the Internet has provided a soapbox for those poor lonely souls too cowardly and socially inept to share their views face to face with a live human being. So they resort to trolling the Internet, spewing their hate and ignorance.

    All from he safety of mommy's basement.

    December 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. OwenFleming

    No matter his reasons or what he faced in his life, just hope all he did was worth the trip to Hell.

    January 2, 2013 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. bobalu

    So do we need to arm firemen as well as teachers now. Or should we just arm everyone who could be threatened by an assault weapon?

    January 2, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
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