America's North Shore Journal

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Chilling note found in firefighter ambush killings

William Spengler

Ambush suspect William Spengler. Photo (undated) provided by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

The story of the firefighter ambush yesterday before sunrise took an even more chilling turn today as details about the shooting and the killer’s motivation were released by the police. The suspect, William Spengler of 191 Lake Road, Webster, NY., was found just before noon dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. With him were three weapons, a Bushmaster .223 rifle, a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, and a quantity of ammunition in magazines. The police found a note a short distance away and released excerpts from it in a press conference today.

As investigators picked through the ashes at 191 Lake Road, human remains were discovered. They are believed to be those of Spengler’s sister, Cheryl, who had bee unaccounted for since the shooting. No other remains have been discovered in the seven homes that were destroyed by the fire that Spengler allegedly set to lure firefighters into his ambush.

In the note, Spengler described his intentions and the desire to see “how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best: killing people“. The note is several pages in length. Police declined to release the entire note at this time.

The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has posted the calling hours and funeral details for the two fallen firefighters.

Calling hours for both Chiapperini and Kaczowka will be held at Webster Schroder High School on Friday, December 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, December 29 from noon to 3 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.

A funeral for Lt. Mike Chiapperini will be held at noon at Webster Schroder High School on Sunday, December 30. Chiapperini will be buried at West Webster Cemetery.

A funeral for Tomasz Kaczowka will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 31 at St. Stanislaus Church. He will be buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

Some of the residents evacuated from the Lake Road shooting were allowed to return to their homes today. Utilities remain turned off for most of the neighborhood. Seven homes were totally destroyed by the fire.

Buildings affected by fire during firefighter ambush killings

Using Google and based upon work done at the Democrat & Chronicle, the buildings marked with an X are believed to be those burned in the fire. The marker “A” points to 191 Lake Road, home of William Spengler. North of the homes, on the other side of Lake Road, is the berm where Spengler allegedly hid to carry out his planned ambush.

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