News

Firefighter killer wanted to 'burn homes and kill people'

THE gunman who killed two New York firefighters after luring them into a trap by setting his own house ablaze left a note saying he wanted to burn down the neighbourhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people".

The chilling words written by William Spengler were made public by police, after it was revealed that the killer had previously been imprisoned over the death of his grandmother.

The conviction for the killing in 1980 meant that Spengler, who took his own life after fatally shooting the firemen on Monday, was not allowed to possess weapons.

After pleading guilty to manslaughter, Spengler served 17 years in jail for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer.

He was  released on parole in 1998.

Since then, he had lived in the house in Webster in upstate New York with his mother Arline and sister Cheryl, who is missing after the shootings.

According to officials, Spengler armed himself with three weapons before setting a car and his house on fire on Monday.

When a group of local firemen responded they were met by a hail of gunfire from the 62-year-old, who began shooting at them from higher ground nearby.

Michael Chiapperini, 43, a public information officer at the Webster Police Department who volunteered with the fire service, and Tomaz Kaczowka, a 19-year-old 911 dispatcher, were killed.

Two of their colleagues - Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Squadron - remain in hospital.

Spengler apparently turned his gun on himself after exchanging fire with an off-duty police officer who arrived at the scene of the suspected ambush.

John Ritter was wounded but released from hospital soon afterwards.

Why Spengler set a trap and attacked the firemen remains a mystery.

Questions were also being raised about how he acquired the three weapons found by his side.

Authorities said they didn't know where he got hold of the guns, but The New York Times reported that there had been a recent spate of gun thefts in the county.

In Webster, Roger Vercruysse, a neighbour, said that the gunman doted on his mother, who died earlier this year - but apparently harboured a deep dislike for his sister.

"He loved his mama to death," Mr Vercruysee told the Associated Press, but he "couldn't stand his sister".

Topics:  arson firefighters murder murder-suicide new york shootings



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Family of slain grandfather welcomes guilty plea

Ariik Mayot was arrested by police after attacking Ipswich grandfather Lindsay Ede in Goodna. Photo: Contributed

"Coward punch" killer could serve life in jail

Rally over land clearing in Ipswich today

Helen Darbellay releasing a koala at Hardy's campground at Purga on Friday. Photo: Sarah Harvey / The Queensland Times

Group wants the council to take a more active role

What's on this weekend

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

Things to do in Ipswich

Local Partners

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Saying "I do" changed Shia's outlook on marriage

Shia LaBeouf has a new outlook on marriage since he tied the knot.

Singer tunes in to first movie role

Tori Kelly voices the character Meena in the movie Sing.

Musician Tori Kelly voices Meena the teenage elephant in Sing

Cricketing greats bring Aussie mateship to commentary box

Cricket commentator Adam Gilchrist.

ADAM Gilchrist enjoys the fun of calling the Big Bash League.

The dead help solve the case

Debut novel delivers on wit, violence and shock

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

New 1200-seat Mormon church to open in Ipswich

COMMUNITY: Barbara MacDonald of Springfield Lakes with her children from left, Jacob, 6, Charlotte, 2, Joseph, 4, Emily, 9, and Lachlan, 8, outside the newly built Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at Augustine Heights.

One of Australia's largest Mormon churches will open this month

REVEALED: 25 of Ipswich's cheapest houses

8 Trumper St, East Ipswich, Offers above $230,000.

Old and neglected homes in hot demand with renovators

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!