Arrest made connected to NY firefighter shooter's weapons - report

Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:54am IST

An undated image released by Monroe County Sheriff's Office shows William Spengler. REUTERS/Monroe County Sheriff's Office/Handout

An undated image released by Monroe County Sheriff's Office shows William Spengler.

Credit: Reuters/Monroe County Sheriff's Office/Handout

Related Topics

REUTERS - A suburban Rochester, New York, woman has been arrested in connection with the weapons used in the Christmas Eve sniper deaths of two volunteer firefighters who were responding to a deliberately set house fire, local media reported Friday.

Dawn Nguyen was led out of her Greece, New York, home in handcuffs, according to photographs on the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle website. Nguyen was charged with offering a false instrument for filing, the newspaper said, citing New York State Police Senior Investigator James Newell as saying the charge is related to the weapons used in the predawn attack on Dec 24.

A spokesman for the New York State Police in Rochester could not immediately be reached for comment.

U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York William Hochul has scheduled a press conference for 4 p.m. ET (2100 GMT), his office said. No other details were immediately available.

The arrest comes four days after police say a 62-year-old ex-convict ambushed volunteer firefighters responding to a fire he had started at his home in Webster, about 12 miles east of Rochester.

In the attack, William Spengler killed two firefighters, Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, and wounded two others, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, police said. He was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a gun battle with police.

The remains of a woman authorities believe to be his sister, Cheryl Spengler, 67, were found in his burned-out home.

Spengler left a typewritten note saying laying out his plan, authorities said earlier this week.

"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," Spengler's note read, according to police.

Spengler had spent 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1981, authorities said.

Police said Spengler had an "arsenal of ammunition" and three weapons - a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver, a Mossberg pump-action shotgun and a .223 Bushmaster rifle with a flash suppressor.

The same model Bushmaster rifle was used in the killing of 20 students and six teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.

Authorities with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been investigating the origin of the weapons.

As a convicted felon, Spengler could not legally own guns.

In addition to the four firefighters who were shot, an off-duty police officer was wounded by shrapnel as he drove past the scene, police said. The officer was treated at a hospital and released.

Seven homes in the neighborhood were destroyed by the fire, and two were uninhabitable, police said.

(Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Dan Grebler)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferry Trial

Ferry Trial

Captain of doomed S.Korea ferry says lack of checks was customary - Yonhap.  Full Article 

Syria Crisis

Syria Crisis

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced - UN.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan's powerful army steps in to resolve political crisis.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Gene studies of Ebola in Sierra Leone show virus is mutating fast.  Full Article 

Brangelina Wedding

Brangelina Wedding

Quietly, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say, 'I do'.  Full Article 

US-China Faceoff

US-China Faceoff

Chinese interceptions of U.S. military planes could intensify due to submarine base.  Full Article 

Turkey Politics

Turkey Politics

Turkey's Erdogan sworn in as president, consolidates power.  Full Article 

Mideast Conflict

Mideast Conflict

Hamas leader says Gaza only "milestone to reaching our objective".  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage