Remains found at fire shooting scene

Dec. 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM
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WEBSTER, N.Y., Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Police in Webster, N.Y., said Tuesday human remains found at a home where a man shot and killed two firefighters may be those of the gunman's sister.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering told reporters the medical examiner had not yet confirmed the identity of the body found in a home that had been set on fire Monday by William H. Spengler Jr., 62, who apparently took his own life after killing Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, The (Rochester) Democrat and Chronicle reported.

Pickering said Spengler's sister, Cheryl, 67, who lived with him at the home, had been missing since Monday.

The police chief said William Spengler was armed with a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle -- the same kind of weapon used in the Dec. 14 school massacre in Newtown, Conn. -- as well as a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver. He called the case a "clear ambush on first responders."

Police said earlier Tuesday William Spengler left a typewritten note saying: "I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like best: killing people."

Police did not release the full contents of the note -- which Pickering said was two to three pages long but did not make clear what William Spengler's motive was.

"I'm not sure we'll ever really know what was going through his mind," Pickering said.

Chiapperini was a volunteer firefighter and the public information officer for the Webster Police Department. He and Kaczowka were among the first to arrive at the fire.

Firefighters Joseph Hofsetter, 33, and Theodore Scardino, 48, were reported in stable condition after being treated for injuries at Strong Memorial Hospital Monday. Greece police officer Jon Ritter, who was driving near the scene, was treated for shrapnel injuries and released.

Police said Spengler spent 17 years in prison for the beating death of Rose Spengler, 92, in 1980.

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