More details emerge after ambush that killed firefighters

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December 25, 2012, 4:57 pm
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(NECN: Josh Brogadir) - No confirmation yet that human remains found are those of gunman William Spengler's sister, but police are working on the assumption that it is her.
    
Neighbors say the two did not get along.

Their mother died in October and they were living in two separate sides of the family home.

"We did locate apparent human remains in the ruins of the house at 191 Lake Road," said Webster, N.Y. Police Chief Gerald Pickering.

Another disturbing discovery in a Christmas Eve ambush already filled with many more questions than ways to answer them.

Those human remains, according to Chief Pickering, are likely those of 67-year-old Cheryl Spengler, missing since Monday morning.

She is the older sister of 62-year-old William Spengler, who police say set fire to the family home where he and his sister lived, then lay in wait for firefighters to arrive.

He then opened fire, taking two lives, 19=year=old Tomasz Kaczowka, also a 911 dispatcher, and 43-year-old Michael Chiapperini, a volunteer firefighter who was also the police department's public information officer.
    
Two other firefighters were injured.

Spengler then killed himself.

Authorities say sometime before the attack, Spengler, an ex-con who served 17 years for killing his own grandmother with a hammer, described his plans on Christmas Eve.
    
Just one line of the two-to-three-page, rambling, typewritten note was revealed by police, chilling words, "that really, clearly goes to his intent, while the note does not go to motive. 'I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down, and do what I like doing best, killing people," Chief Pickering read.

After the neighborhood was evacuated, residents are now being allowed back into this community along Lake Ontario in this suburb northeast of Rochester.

But with seven homes burned, and two lives lost, there is heartache and disbelief.

"It's really heartbreaking for these families and these people and what they have to go through. And so close to a holiday when we're supposed to love each other," said Kim Runnells, a resident of Webster.

Police think Spengler used a military-style .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle with flash suppression to shoot the firefighters.
    
It's the same make and caliber weapon used in the Newtown shootings.
    
As a convicted felon, police say Spengler should not have had guns and are trying to find out how he got them.



Tags: New York, webster, Josh Brogadir, firefighters ambush, Willliam Spengler, Cheryl Spengler
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