Niagara Gazette

July 9, 2013

Rochester firefighter wounded in Christmas Eve shooting rampage back to work

Staff Reports
Associated Press

ROCHESTER — A professional firefighter who survived the Christmas Eve shooting rampage in New York that left two volunteer firefighters dead has returned to work.

Local media outlets report that Joseph Hofstetter rejoined his Rochester Fire Department crew Tuesday morning, more than six months after being shot while responding to a call with the West Webster Fire District, where he volunteered.

He says he feels "very lucky" and is thrilled to be back on full duty.

Hofstetter and volunteer firefighter Ted Scardino survived the shooting early on the morning of Dec. 24. Volunteer firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were shot and killed by William Spengler Jr.

Authorities say Spengler had set fire to his car and lakeside home before ambushing firefighters. After a shootout with police, Spengler killed himself.