WEBSTER, NY (WIVB) - William Spengler, the 62 year-old shooter who set a Christmas Eve trap for responding volunteer firefighters in Webster and then opened fire, left a note behind detailing his intent.
Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering read a line from that letter, which stated: "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."
Spengler's motives for his actions are still undetermined. Spengler was a convicted felon, who had killed his grandmother with a hammer in 1980. He served more than 17 years in prison. He was not legally permitted to possess firearms.
Volunteer Firefighter Mike Chiapperini, a past chief, and just named "Firefighter of the Year" was killed. He was also a Lieutenant of the Webster Police Department. Tomasz Kaczowka was a 911 dispatcher and a volunteer with the West Webster Fire Department. He also lost his life. Two other firefighters were wounded by gunfire. An off duty police officer was wounded from debris when his car was hit by a bullet.
PHOTOS | See a photo gallery of the victims
Chief Pickering said Spengler, who ended up taking his own life with a gunshot to the head, had been armed with three different weapons, a .38 caliber revolver, a 12 gauge pump shotgun, and 223 caliber rifle with a flash suppresser. Investigators are trying to trace the lineage of the weapons. Webster police are working with the ATF, Monroe County Sheriff's investigators, and State Police criminal investigators.
There is increasing concern that William Spengler's sister, Cheryl Spengler, may have perished in the fire. Spengler, according to authorities, had torched his own house on Lake Road in Webster, also setting fire to a car, prompting the response from the West Webster Fire Department. He waited on an embankment for first responders to arrive.
A Webster police officer who had responded to the fire call immediately returned gunfire, diverting Spengler's attention from killing more first responders. An off duty police officer from Greece, New York who was injured after his car was hit by bullets, had tried to shield firefighters with his personal vehicle. Spengler's position may have been spotted by State Police in helicopter that had been dispatched to the scene.
Fire investigators are now sifting through the debris of seven destroyed homes, searching for more victims. So far, the only resident missing is Cheryl Spengler.
An armored vehicle had been used to evacuate 33 residents from their homes during the chaotic morning hours on Christmas Eve. Most of the residents are now able to return home. Power has been restored to all but two homes.
Condolences have poured into Webster, a community of 45,000 people, from all over the nation and the world.
Injured firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter are now listed in stable condition. They sustained serious injuries. Greece police officer John Ritter was treated and released.
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