Webster, New York Firefighter Killer Had Served 17 Years for Murdering Grandmother

Webster Police released this information today on the shooter who killed two firemen in New York this morning: The suspect, William Spengler, 62 was arrested in 1980 for killing his grandmother and served time until 1998.

The Huffington Post reported:

Police in New York state say a man who ambushed firefighters had served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says 62-year-old William Spengler was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Police say he set fire to a car and house to lure firefighters to his house on the shore of Lake Ontario early Monday.

When firefighters arrived, he opened fire, probably with a rifle. Two firefighters died at the scene and two others were hospitalized. A fifth first responder was injured.

Police don’t know a motive yet.

62-year-old William Spengler was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

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  • John

    Sounds like a good reason to ban guns to me /sarc

  • Matthew

    Manslaughter is not murder. Correct your headline please.

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  • Sasja

    Well, Matthew, you can try to spin it anyway that will make you feel better, but taking the life of another is murder. It matters not what some DA and defense attorney plea bargain.

  • a former dem

    what an awful awful story. Those poor firemen. This is such a heart wrenching tragedy.

  • Nanna

    With all the gun laws in New York, where did he get the gun????

  • RealMc

    Following the lefts logic, this is an easy fix:

    Ban fire and any device that could be used to make one.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    All BS’ing aside…………….

    Prayers to the families. Far to many lost to senseless tragedy in the last few days.

  • Sasja

    There are days when reading about these terrible crimes becomes more than one can bear. To keep from becoming cynical and bitter, it helps to see the beauty and love that can come from unlikely (to some) sources. This video is one of those times. And some say that dogs have no soul.

    Pray for the families of the fallen and keep God foremost in your heart and mind.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA8VJh0UJtg

  • whitestone

    Hmmm… apparently he wasn’t sufficiently rehabilitated.
    So much for progressive penal policies.

  • whitestone

    @#2… I don’t think Grandma cared about the semantics… she’s still just as dead.

  • zipity

    …and this is why you either execute killers or never let them out. Period.

    Naw, we need the prison beds for folks caught with 7 grams of weed. Insane.

  • jainphx

    I have to ask because I’m not sure, but do these sort of things happen with a Republican in office? How many does this make for Obama?

  • Pat

    Well, well, with a state with strict gun laws HOW did he get his gun???

  • FurryGuy

    #2 December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    a liberal doofus drooled:

    Dead is dead, only lawyers and the guilty care about legal distinctions splitting hairs ad infinitum. Manslaughter and murder are both classified as homicide.

    You have got to be an ambulance-chasing defense lawyer to be so offended by the post title.

    FYI, there is a vast difference between an attorney and a lawyer.

  • valerie

    Manslaughter is mitigated murder. The headline can stay.

  • Stan

    In liberal New York with strict gun control, a guy who served 17 years in prison somehow was able to get his hands on a gun. And I don’t see a mother to blame here for buying the gun he used.

    This story will get swept under the rug because the “nuts will find a gun no matter how strict the law is” argument is tough to invalidate here.

  • Buffalobob

    The question is not how did he get the gun, but as a convicted felon in NYS why did he have a gun?

  • shadow

    I have to ask because I’m not sure, but do these sort of things happen with a Republican in office?

    No. When Reagan was in office, there was no crime, no poor, nobody had to pay taxes, money grew on trees and all was good in the world.

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  • Knox

    As to how he got the gun in liberal NY, it’s easy when all you have to do is go to another state with fewer regulations or to a gun show with none.

  • freedomfirst

    He was a convicted felon and in most states would be barred from owning a gun or ammunition. Didn’t the shooter get the memo?

  • Dave-O

    #20 – Knox – you are an idiot. All states require background checks that deny gun sales to convicted felons. And there is no “gun show loophole” – all guns sold at gunshows by dealers have to clear a background check just as if they would as if sold in the shop. Please check your facts before posting.

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  • Patty

    Laws need to change and more conservative judges are needed.

  • Patty

    Oh, N.Y. now if it was Texas, I would hope he would still be serving time. But he’s dead and so our two of our heroes.

  • How is beating your grandmother to death with a hammer “manslaughter”?

  • Patty
  • Patty
  • Sandy

    #2 December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    Matthew commented:

    Manslaughter is not murder. Correct your headline please.

    Dead is Dead.

  • Sandy

    #27 December 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm
    Patty commented:

    NY Gunman Who Shot Firemen Already Barred From Owning Guns

    Interesting. Shame the media doesn’t shout this from the roof tops. But then the talking points are set in stone and anything that doesn’t fit is ignored.

  • labar

    #2 December 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    Matthew commented:

    Manslaughter is not murder. Correct your headline please.

    Matthew, the unintentional killing of someone is manslaughter. I don’t know how someone could beat their grandmother over the head with a hammer and not intend on killing them.

    That would be murder.

    But, if the defense was able to show that the grandmother had abused the guy for an extended amount of time, and that he snapped one day and beat her to death, he might be charged with manslaughter instead of murder.

    There’s other ways a manslaughter charge could be reached as well, but the reason for the crime is usually what decides the charge.

    And no, I’m not a lawyer, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

  • Jeff

    OK. Some info from the media thus far.
    Person beats his grandmother to death with a hammer. Person serves 17 yrs.
    Person has an unusually strong connection to his mother. Mother dies.
    Person also hates his sisters guts. Person lives with sister.
    Person described as nice by neighbors. Person sets fire to ambush responders.

    My questions. Why only 18 yrs for such a horrible crime.
    Where did the gun come from? Stolen, purchased legally, purchased illegally, inherited?
    Was this person under mental care and was he medicated?

  • AADL

    It NY were a civilized state, it would have a working death penalty, and this killer would have been executed long ago.