NY firemen's killer mapped out plan for slayings
WEBSTER, New York (AP) - The ex-convict turned sniper who lured two firefighters to their deaths by setting his house on fire wanted to make sure his goodbye note was legible, typing out his desire to "do what I like doing best, killing people," police said. Charred remains found in the home were thought to be those of his sister.
Police said 62-year-old William Spengler brought plenty of ammunition for three weapons including a military-style assault rifle as he set out to burn down his upstate New York neighbourhood just before sunrise on Christmas Eve. The rifle was the same make and caliber weapon used in this month's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
"He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said of a felon who wasn't allowed to possess weapons because of his criminal past. Spengler had served 17 years in prison for manslaughter in the 1980 killing of his grandmother with a hammer.
When firefighters arrived, Spengler unleashed a torrent of bullets, shattering the windshield of the fire truck that volunteer firefighter and police Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, was driving. Fellow firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, was killed as well.