Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 25, 2012

WEBSTER SHOOTING: Human remains found in home; man left note on killing plan

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — No other bodies were found, and police late Tuesday said the on-scene investigation had been completed.

Two firefighters were shot dead in the ambush and two others are hospitalized in stable condition.

Spengler fired at the four firefighters when they arrived shortly after 5:30 a.m. Monday to put out the fire, Pickering said. The first police officer who arrived chased the gunman and exchanged shots.

Authorities said Spengler hadn't done anything to bring himself to their attention since his parole. As a convicted felon, he wasn't allowed to possess weapons. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Spengler led a very quiet life after he got out of prison.

A friend, Roger Vercruysse, lived next door to Spengler and recalled a man who doted on his mother, whose obituary suggested contributions to the West Webster Fire Department.

"He loved his mama to death," said Vercruysse, who last saw his friend about six months ago.

Vercruysse also said Spengler "couldn't stand his sister" and "stayed on one side of the house and she stayed on the other."

The West Webster Fire District learned of the fire after a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn said.

Emergency radio communications capture someone saying he "could see the muzzle flash coming at me" as Spengler carried out his ambush. The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun - high powered ... semi or fully auto."

Two of the firefighters arrived on a fire engine and two in their own vehicles, Pickering said. After Spengler fired, one of the wounded men fled, but the other three couldn't because of flying gunfire.

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