Funerals Set For Slain Firefighters In Webster
WEBSTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Funeral services have been set for the two Rochester-area volunteer firefighters fatally shot as they arrived at a house fire set by the ex-convict who killed them.
Michael Chiapperini, 34, and Tomasz Kaczowska, 19, were killed Monday after 62-year-old ex-convict William Spengler armed himself with three weapons and set his house on fire to lure first responders into a death trap, police said.
Two other firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, were both hospitalized in serious condition.
On Tuesday, police said Spengler left a typewritten note saying he wanted to burn down the neighborhood and “do what I like doing best, killing people.”
Police said they also found a body in the Spengler home, presumably that of his sister, 67-year-old Cheryl Spengler.
Police said Spengler was using a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle – the same gun as used by the gunman in the Newtown massacre. He was also armed with a .38 revolver and a shotgun.
“He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people,” Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.
Residents who left their homes during the fire were allowed to return Tuesday. Police SWAT team members had used an armored vehicle to evacuate more than 30 residents.
Spengler’s motive was left unclear, Pickering said, even as authorities began analyzing the typewritten note he left behind.
“There was some rambling in there and some intelligence we need to follow up on,” Pickering said. “I’m not sure we’ll ever know what was going through his mind.”
Spengler had served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother. He served time until 1998 and was on parole until 2006.
Meanwhile, flowers and candles have been placed outside the fire station in Webster in memory of the slain firefighters.
Calling hours for Chiapperini and Kaczowka will be held at Webster Schroeder High School from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
The funeral service for Chiapperini, who was also a lieutenant with the Webster Police Department, will be held at the high school at noon Sunday.
The funeral Mass for Kaczowka will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Stanislaus Church in Rochester.
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