Quantcast
Latest Stories

2 US firefighters shot dead in arson ‘trap’

By

NEW YORK – A convicted felon shot dead two firefighters and wounded two others Monday after luring them to a blaze that police said he had apparently set as a trap in a small town in New York state.

The 62-year-old shooter, who was found guilty of manslaughter and jailed for 17 years for his grandmother’s death in 1980, then fatally shot himself in the head, said police in Webster, on the shores of Lake Ontario.

The incident, which comes as debate rages in the United States about gun control following the Newtown school massacre earlier this month, happened shortly before 6:00 am (1100 GMT) in a small lakefront residential community.

“It does appear that it was a trap that was set for our first responders,” Webster police chief Gerald Pickering told a press conference, his voice breaking with emotion. Police have yet to mention a possible motive.

“People who get up in the middle of the night to fight fires, they don’t expect to get shot and killed,” he added.

“We are a safe community, a tragedy like this is just horrendous.”

The firefighters were shot as they approached the scene of the blaze – a car and a house engulfed

in a fire that they now believe was set intentionally by the shooter, identified as William Spengler.

“Four of the firefighters were shot. Two are deceased, two were transported to area hospitals,” Pickering said.

The two injured men were not in critical condition and were both expected to recover.

Another off-duty police officer who responded was also shot and wounded.

One of the injured firefighters, all volunteers in the small suburb of Rochester, was able to escape and call for help.

“We are being shot at. Multiple firemen down. Multiple firemen are shot. I am shot. I think he is using an assault rifle. We have multiple firemen down. Working fire,” said the injured man, according to a police scanner recording broadcast by Fox News.

A security cordon was put up around the scene and residents were evacuated. Seven homes were destroyed in the blaze, as the shooting thwarted initial efforts to douse the flames.

Pickering said emergency personnel had not yet been able to search the torched homes for possible additional victims.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said state police and the Office of Emergency Management were working with local law enforcement to respond to the scene.

He also offered his condolences to the families of the victims of the “horrific shooting” and “senseless act of violence.”

“New York’s first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our families and communities safe,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones.”

The incident in Webster came 10 days after a shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that saw a disturbed young man gun down 20 children, aged six and seven, and six adults.

The shooter, Adam Lanza, had killed his mother at their home before heading to the school, where he eventually took his own life.

The Newtown shooting has revived debate in the United States on the country’s gun laws, which are far more lax than in most other developed nations.

President Barack Obama said he would support a new bill to ban assault rifles, and has put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a panel looking at a wide range of other measures, from school security to mental health.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has pledged to introduce a bill in January that would ban at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, and would curb the transfer, importation and possession of such arms.

But the nation’s most powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, strongly opposes any new restraints in gun sales, with the group’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre calling Feinstein’s proposal “phony.”

The United States has suffered an explosion of gun violence over the last three decades, including 62 mass shooting incidents since 1982.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Crimes , Fire , Shooting , United States




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  2. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  3. Massive infra spending set
  4. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  7. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  8. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  9. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  10. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • Firetruck rams California eatery; 15 injured
  • 9 confirmed dead after ferry sinks off South Korean coast
  • Aquino to public: Learn to sacrifice
  • 20 killed as Islamic extremists rampage in Nigeria
  • Drug firm Novartis to help Leyte firefighter
  • Sports

  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Business

  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Technology

  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement