Webster, N.Y. - Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering has identified the gunman who shot and killed two firefighters early Monday morning, and injured two more.
Pickering said it appears William Spengler, 62, set a fire at his home as a trap to ambush first responders. Spengler was later found deceased near the scene.
The fire started around 5:30 a.m. at 191 Lake Rd. near Bay Rd.
Pickering said the first 911 call is believed to have been made by a neighbor. The caller reported a car and a house on fire.
Police and firefighters were on scene within minutes, and that's when the first shots were fired. Police say it appears that Spengler had positioned himself in a higher area where he could fire down on first responders.
A Webster Police officer responding to the scene exchanged gunfire with Spengler, and is credited with saving lives by keeping others back.
Pickering said one of the firefighters was able to escape in his private vehicle, while the others remained pinned down for around an hour.
Firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were shot and died at the scene. Chiapperini was also a member of the Webster Police Department, and had been named a Webster firefighter of the year two weeks ago. Kaczowka was a member of the fire department and a 911 dispatcher who had been with the department for a little more than a year. He previously was part of the explorer program.