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Webster Shooter Served 17 Years In Prison For Killing His Grandmother With A Hammer

Posted By Joseph Spector On December 24, 2012 @ 3:00 pm In Uncategorized | Comments Disabled

A 62-year-old Webster man who ambushed and killed two firefighters and injured two others today served 17 years in prison for beating his grandmother to death with a hammer, police said.

Police identified the shooter as William H. Spengler Jr. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head during a shootout with police this morning, officials said.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Spengler waited with armament and “took a position of cover to actually to be a sniper” as police and firefighters rushed to the scene of a house and car fire in the eastern Rochester suburb. Seven homes were destroyed in the fire.

“It appears it was a trap,” Pickering said. “He laid in wait.”

The two responders who were killed were Lt. Mike Chiapperini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and the Webster Police Department’s public information officer, and Tomasz Kaczowka, who was a volunteer firefighter and a 911 dispatcher. Two other responders were in the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Spengler served 17 years for beating his 92-year-old grandmother, Rose Spengler, to death with a hammer. He was released in 1998, prosecutors said, and his parole ended in 2006. He was a convicted felon and should not have had a firearm, Pickering said.

“We don’t have an exact reason why” Spengler conducted today’s shooting, Pickering said, “but looking at the history, obviously this is an individual who has a lot of problems to have killed his grandmother some 30 years ago. I’m sure there were some mental-health issues involved.”

It’s possible that Spengler’s sister is missing, Pickering said.

The Democrat and Chronicle [1]said the killing happened on July 18, 1980, inside 193 Lake Road. At the time, Spengler lived at 191 Lake Road, the home where firefighters were responding today when they were shot, it reported.

Here’s the audio from the police scanner at the beginning of the incident, with one officer saying, “”It’s going to be a rifle or a shotgun, high-powered.”


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[1] The Democrat and Chronicle : http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20121224/NEWS01/312240026/Webster-shooter-jailed-killing-his-grandmother