12/24/2012 -- I am sitting here in the newsroom on this Christmas Eve, watching video of Mike Chiapperini from his appearance in our studio just days ago. I spoke with him that morning, as I often did when he stopped in the newsroom. I did not know him well, but I remember that he was always smiling and always friendly. He was a Webster Police Lieutenant, and a volunteer firefighter, who was no doubt awakened by that fire call at 5:30 this morning. No doubt he hurried to the scene. No doubt he hoped it would be something minor, so he could continue on with whatever he had planned for Christmas Eve, and for Christmas Day. He could not have known that he was leaving his home for his last call. He could not have known that he was running into a trap.
I am heartsick for the families of the two men who died while responding to a call for help, for the two in the hospital, for the other volunteers and police officers affected by this. I am sad for our entire community to have this story in front of us at a time when we are supposed to be celebrating, and praying for Peace on Earth.
Lt. Chiapperini's segment with us is attached to this story.