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. Kris

    Its amazing how many psychopaths American lifestyle generates!!!!

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

      No more than anywhere else. Just open your eyes and look around.

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

      What's interesting is that the sick trash are so cowardly that they shoot a place up and then kill themselves rather than fight it out with armed responders. Are they denying their own sense of powerlessness by taking power away from others, even the power to respond?

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

      The media needs to stop focusing on these evil gunmen and giving them a platform to spread their hateful agenda. Again, what about the victims? What are their names? Why is CNN glorifying this psychopath just like every other recent tragic shooting in this country? Wake up media you are part of the problem here.

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

      no more than expected with the current population size.. mental illness as a result of childhood trauma propagates. Doing nothing about it will mean the % will grow. We all pay. The child loses a life, our safety at risk and taxpayers pay the cost after the fact. All because we miss the opportunity as this awakening to cause real change.

      ChildRescueBill. org

      December 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. guido ambrosi

    hope he is in hell right now, were human crap like him deserves to be.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • the middleclass

      Iif there is such a place,, but remember, he very well might have been severely mentally ill due to the trauma placed on him as a child. We choose to do nothing to understand the cause and allow small children to suffer. We later dam-n them for their destroyed lives and later mental illness. Maybe it's us who should be dam-ned.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sc8920

    This is not a racist issue. Unbelievable. When anyone is murdered by a gun, it's pathetic.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Clarke

    I am so sorry for the people who lost loved ones. This was just terrible thing to happen at the hands of this very evil soul.may he forever rot in he//.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tracy

    How come the majority of these mass shooting freaks who ultimately turn the gun on themselves don't just cut to the chase? Why do people who have nothing to do with their perceived little problems always have to go down too? Maybe if mass media did not focus on these events to the point of nausea, glorifying them in a perverted negative way, these freaks would not gravitate toward this strange psychopathic method of making their statement- whatever twisted statement it is .

    December 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Agree completely. A nobody went to somebody because of the media, once again.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. krenzy

    Tell me all about how responsible gun owners are again?

    December 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • poopiefacetomatonose

      he wasnt the gun owner......

      December 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Not a gun owner. As a convicted felon, he was not allowed to be an owner. Don't attribute your mis-information to others.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      And the only thing he was "responsible" for is the death of four people.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. the middleclass

    When will we start attacking the real problem? Most everyone is born with a brain wired for success, it's what happens in childhood which will cause that to change. It's called 'mental illness' due to trauma where the child copes alone. If it happened to any of us, expect we'd be the same. Look at Charlie Manson's childhood..

    We can change this. We can identify children in traumas and return them to reaching their potential.

    ChildRescueBill. org

    December 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • the middleclass

      I I understand that many of us need to place blame on someone, call them evil. Yet we all forget they were likely young loving children at one time.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jorge T

    And the deceased continues.....death wishes + guns= more death. Death escalation is provided by NRA.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dylan

      Knee jerking freedom hating liberal

      December 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sc8920

    It's too easy for people to get guns and then some types of guns that you are able to get shouldn't be allowed. Guns that fire multiple clips........ come on...... who in the world needs that type of weapon.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LInsday Brighton

    yawn............... the USA I presume?

    December 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. smartaz

    Bang up job on the psych evaluation before letting this guy out.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  12. yuri pelham

    Whoever is responsible for the release of this beast is .... along with the NRA which is now in the process of destroying its own credibility. Fortunately.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. thebes42

    We must act today.
    We MUST BAN lighters.
    There is no reason that a recreational burner can't use matches.
    Does ANYONE really need a high capacity butane torch which fits in their pocket?
    Anyone with a legitimate need to start a campfire could still buy matches after they pass a background check, so long as we limit match books to a capacity of ten and tax them and ban transfering them without a permit.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • GlueckAuf

      And if America had banned assault hammers prior to 1980, Spengler's grandmother would've lived, and none of this would've happened in the first place. America needs an assault hammer ban NOW.

      December 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Free and safe

      Yes! BAN LIGHTERS! What weapons of mass killing!

      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 32,310 (one year) people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2011. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, between 2006 and 2010 (4 years) 47,856 people were murdered in the U.S. by firearms. Look how many more people are killed in car accidents, in one year!

      Also, let's ban knives because like in China, these tools also kill people all by themselves. Let's ban ropes and piano strings which can choke and hang people, these EVIL TOOLS!!!
      If GUNS kill people, than pencils misspell words, and cars drive drunk. Oh yeah. Lets BAN CARS because they kill thousands of people a year!

      I’d love to see what these NRA haters would think if some bad guy came in to their own home to KILL them and their children and they had nothing but a broom to chase the bad guys away, like in the China knife attack video. What would they do? CALL A GOOD GUY WITH A GUN, of course!!!

      December 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dave

    Hey he likes to kill people...

    Good for him. Now let us kill him! Stick a needle into his arm and be done with him!

    December 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveNTexas

      He's already dead but ok. 🙂

      December 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dexter

    White male crimes cannot be generalized. The white male dominated media says so.

    December 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
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