New details released in December 24 ambush that killed two firefighters, wounded two others
WEBSTER, N.Y. (WKTV) - At a press conference held Monday morning, Webster Police identified the police officer who exchanged gunfire with a man who killed two firefighters and wounded two others during an early morning incident in the Town of Webster on Christmas Eve. Police said Officer Mark Reed responded to the scene with the firefighters and when he saw the muzzle flash from the suspect's gun, returned fire. The gunman, convicted killer William Spengler, shot himself during the incident. Spengler was imprisoned for manslaughter in 1981 after admitting that he killed his grandmother. Police say if not for Officer Reed's actions, the morning could have turned even more tragic. Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "The actions of officer Mark Reed directly impacted the decisions of the shooter," Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. "The shooter never anticipated an immediate police response to this fire. The shooter felt that he would have unchallenged opportunity to kill our firefighters." Authorities say Spengler was upset following the death of his mother and that money was to be left to the West Webster Fire Association. They could not say, though, if that was the sole motive for the shooting. Firefighters Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, the Webster Police Department's public information officer; and 19-year-old Tomasz Kaczowka, also a 911 dispatcher; were both killed in the incident. Police said that 38 rounds were recovered from the scene. They believe the number of rounds actually discharged was closer to 58, according to Chief Pickering.