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. stanford_gal

    If they had put him away for life or put him to death the first time he committed murder 30 years ago, then these recent deaths would have been avoided.
    This is a pattern we see again and again, and it's obvious what needs to be done...
    It's way past time to crack down on felons... one murder and you should be out.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fireman Wife

    As the wife of a professional firefighter (with 20 years service to his dept) now I get to try to sleep at night not only worrying that he might be hurt or killed trying to save someone's life or home from fire but that some mentally unstable person might be laying in wait to hurt or kill him with malice. And as the mother of three children I get to worry about my kids when I drop them off at school. Thankfully the Holy Spirit gives me the strength to live life each day seeing the beauty and miracles that continue to happen all around us. Our sin filled fallen world can be a scary place if all you ever do is focus on the evil and hate.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      what makes you think this is a "sin filled, fallen world"?

      December 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      that question aside, i wish safety to all firefighters

      December 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gettin Bizzee

    All these cases are nothing but 100% determination to have ultimate control aka by ending someone else's life and not having to answer for it.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lane Gruenwald

      To be honest, no assault gun owner who is sane seriously believes he and his neighbors are going to take on a regular army regiment fully equipped. The buy those things to fantasize how they'll fend off night home intruders and police when they have a disagreement as to why they're storming his home.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. liberal disease

    who let this animal out of prison in the first place? let me guess a liberal judge!

    December 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Probably Mike Huckabee..dont know what I am talking about? Look it up.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Let me guess...a hasty generalization motivated by a close-minded, one-sided individual that is symbolic of the problem we have on both sides of any argument. No compromise, just a my-way-or-the-highway mentality that, from the top down, is the REAL reason why intelligent amicable solutions cannot be generated in any aspect of our society.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • crippling ignorance

      this comment itself is borderline socio-pathic. blindly attributing the cause of unrelated events to a particular group or unknown persons is indicative of genuine insanity and inability to think rationally without your own fears and bias obscuring reality...go talk to congress you'll be in good company. they are cozy in their mansions allowing tax rate for you and your family to rise to protect themselves. unless you make 1 mil. or more. in that case, you have the right to be as mean as you want!

      December 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff Schlagel

      Liberal Democrat governor to be exact. Grandholm we are glad she is gone. She bankrupted Michigan. Funny how a Republican gov. put our state back in the black only after two years.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      partisan fvcknut

      December 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      jeff: no "d" in Granholm

      December 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lane Gruenwald

      Quit spamming. This is the third time you posted the same thing.

      December 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chris

    Couldn't this wait until tomorrow? It's Christmas for crying out loud!!

    December 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. thedude

    Yeah cause non-white people never commit any crimes much less murder.................

    December 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. unowhoitsme

    So sad for the victims and their families. My sincere condolences. Without love, this world perishes. Everyone needs to feel loved and it begins as an infant. Today kids come from a lot of abusive environments, then become abusers themselves. The cycle needs to stop, but how do you change a wild animal? Perhaps, slowly with love.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Betty

    Kckaaos- and how do you explain the 100's of killers with no criminal records?

    December 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sergio

    And LaPierre and the NRA are pushing for more availability guns!

    December 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • walter2013

      The blood is on the Board of prison terms who let him out after killing his grandmother.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spike99809

      Absolutely! Thousands are joining the NRA every day–I'm not a member, but am going to join. Someone has to stand up for our right to protect ourselves and families.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Duke

    I cant wait for the NRA to tell us to arm firemen now ... Maybe the real solution is to disarm the NRA

    December 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. sc8920

    Okay. Let's be reasonable. That's not a comparison.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Fed Up

    Why wasn't this murderer put to death for killing granny with a hammer? Is it because soft hearted and soft headed people wanted him to have another chance to kill? Well, he killed again and ruined two innocent families lives. Kudos to the bleeding heart liberals.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    This just shows how stupidly flawed the gun system in the US is. Look how easy it is for a a convicted murderer can acquire a high powered fireman. The US is paying for its stupidity.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    If true, this is a proof that evil does exist. Failure of US law system that didn't detect and execute this troubled man last time.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. walter2013

    The blood is on the Board of prison terms who let him out

    December 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
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