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. sc8920

    Somebody, somewhere had to know this guy and that he had some type of issue and I'm not even sure where I"m headed with this comment, but you would think that something could have been done. Just like with that other idiot in Connecticut. Every time I think about that ........ what ever he was ......... and what he did to those small children, it makes me sick.

    December 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. the prophet

    This is also connected to the Arp program

    December 25, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Will

    To everyone that thinks the second amendment doesnt apply today: it applies more than ever. It was not created so that we could hunt. back then, if you didnt hunt, you didnt eat. It was created so that we the people could protect ourselves from an oppressive government. The second amendment is what protects the rest of the amendments. If you take away the second, the first, third, fourth, fifth, etc will follow. look at history, every tyrannical dictator started with disarming their people so they couldn't fight back. and if you dont think it could happen in the good old usa, you arent paying attention. and to add one more point, why is it that in areas where gun control is the strictest, you have a higher crime rate than areas that allow gun carry?

    December 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DB

    The problem is not gun control or racism... As evidenced by these posts... It is us... We fail to realize we are all on the same team and our great nation continues to crumble because of this... How great we could be! Sad... We all say and do whatever I in our own bet interests with no understanding hat if we do not pull this TOGETHER, we will all go down hard... If I am allied a, I call off the suicide killing trainings and decide to pull back... We are doing a great job of killing ourselves... You can have different beliefs and be nicer on your posts by the way... Be on the same team!

    December 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    So, let me understand this. A convicted murderer has access to an assault rifle and stages a fire so he can fulfill his self-proclaimed "specialty", of killing human beings. I suppose now the NRA's response to this will be to arm ALL firemen. Hey NRA...should the firemen also wear bulletproof clothing and headgear as they perform their "specialty" of extinguishing fires and saving lives???

    December 25, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    YO! CNN! STOP POSTING THE KILLERS' FACES AND STORIES! They do what they do for ATTENTION! You encourage more of this when you reward them by making them famous. The only people who need to know their details are law enforcement and psychologists. Only the victims deserve public attention. Can you say copycat? Why do you think this loser did this? Because he saw how much attention Lanza was getting. The killers' stories' news value are not worth the amount of encouragement you give them, and directly contribute to further violence, by printing them.

    December 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bill Hice

    The (NRA) Nazi Rightwing Army at it again. It's a domestic terrorist oragnization!

    December 25, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      wow,you are ignorant. please explain to me how the NRA is responsible for his actions. The guy killed his grandmother, it was already illegal for him to have guns yet he still had them because crazies dont care what the law says.

      December 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nic

    What I'd like to know is how this creap didn't get life for killing his grandmother? Why was he out?

    December 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      not only that but beat her with a hammer. and word is he killed his sister as well, she was found in the house. i grew up in this town, it has shook the community up pretty badly.

      December 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teapatriot

      Lets have hammer control!!

      December 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary laskowski

    May the everlasting love of Jesus fill your lives. Merry christmas

    December 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SFRich

    Sad story... too bad this guy didn't just shoot himself first.

    Not to diminish the tragedy of this, but on the topic of guns and gun violence—I'd be interested in hearing what the NRA's deluded LaPierre has to say about this. Perhaps he thinks that all firefighters should carry guns. Maybe we should set up checkpoints on every corner with armed "good guys" to stop all the "terrible, terrible lunatics" that we all need automatic rifles to defend ourselves against.

    Next weeks quote... 'The only thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good firefighter with a gun."

    December 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      Actually you gun control whackos haven't made any body any safer, as a matter of fact whackos love the sitting ducks in shooting galleries that you have created by locking children in a twelve foot razor wire fence and gun free zone signs everywhere. Putting a gun in every fireman's hand sure is a better alternative than placing my child in one of your shooting galleries.

      December 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • reality

      Get real.

      December 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • reality

      What I said to Hamsta was meant for, but seriously get real.

      December 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @Hamsta ...Firemen fight fire. They got their hands full of life saving equipment. No time to "play firefight" with a moron. Putting a gun every "joes" hands is not going to stop ambush killing by demented perps. And no smart cop is going to stand ground with a handgun with a "crazy" firing an AR-15 at his head. Get a grip man!

      December 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      Sounds like reality lives in a fantasy world,and portland tony lives in mayberry because each cop here has no less than 3 guns, the minumum is a hangun, an assault rifle and a shotgun.

      December 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hamsta, it is nice to know that the police in New Orleans 9th Ward are so well armed.
      Most police officers are not.
      Acknowledge that not every town or smaller city has the problems and crime that you do.

      December 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bambi

      Ya know if Deer had Guns there would be a lot less hunters out there trying to fill there tags...

      December 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. L.Sanfod

    We must find out who sold this felon and murderer the gun? Did he get it from a gun show with no background check? If so, believe it or not no law was broken due to the flaw in our laws. Can't we even fix this?

    December 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      What don't you gun control whackos understand about the fact that your laws don't work and actually make uss less safe because you are only making it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns. A law abiding citizen with an AR 15 would have ytaken him out after the first shot was fired.

      December 25, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      So....there should be no gun laws/restrictions at all?
      Yeah, okay.
      And L. Sandford doesn't come off as a "gun control whacko"; he was asking legitimate questions.
      Down, cowboy.

      December 25, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  12. asturgalicia

    If you got a guy with a gun and he gets mad, he may kill someone in a rage. If you got a guy without a gun and he gets mad... think about it, it's simple.

    December 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Surfer George

    Yeah, but make sure he can get a gun Mr LaPierre

    December 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Portland tony

    We're not gonna stop "crazys" from thinking 'bout doin' bad things. Point I have is by eliminating or limiting the availability of the so-called assault removes a very deadly weapons option for the deranged shooter!

    December 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hamsta

      IThen he will kust use a bat and we can call him batman or an axe and we can call him axeman, wait a minute those are tv shows.

      December 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I agree, Portland tony.
      That's not a popular opinion, but I agree.
      Hamsta, in the meantime, everyone else will run away; an axe is nowhere near as efficient as an assault gun for mowing down the maximum amount of people in the minimum amount of time.
      Then, perhaps, one of the people who are licensed to carry can stop the crazed axe man.

      December 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. the prophet

    Please few passionate bloggers are not going affect to course of deterioration of civilizations and their respective Governments, if anyone is dreaming of s perfect society with poor economic conditions one needs to relive history and make changes at the same time

    December 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
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