Suspected Shooter Had Lengthy Criminal History
Police say it appears an ex convict set fire to his home in order to lure firefighters to the neighborhood. After setting the trap, 62-year old William Spengler then started shooting them when they arrived. Police say he killed two of the firefighters and injuring two others before killing himself. Several other homes also caught fire and were destroyed in the blaze.
Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says Spengler was arrested in 1980 for killing his grandmother.
He was convicted in 1981 and spent 17 years in state prison. He says Spengler was released on unsupervised parole in 1998 and was on parole until 2006.
The deceased were identified as 43-year old Michael Chiapperini, the Webster Police Department's public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka, a 911 dispatcher. The two wounded firefighters are identified as Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino. Both were listed in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Pickering says Spengler obviously had mental health issues, but officials are trying to figure out what set him off at this point in time.