Cuomo: Firefighters killed "as they once again answered the call of duty"

The New York governor responded to the shootings that killed two firefighters on Monday

Jillian Rayfield
December 25, 2012 2:09AM (UTC)

In a statement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., praised the four firefighters who were shot, two of them killed, as they responded to a fire in West New York.

"New York's first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our families and communities safe," Cuomo said in a statement. "Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty. We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones."


According to NBC News 10, police have identified the shooter as William Spengler:

Webster Police have identified the shooter as 62-year-old William Spengler. Spengler was found dead near the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Spengler was arrested in 1980 for beating and killing his grandmother. He was convicted in 1981 and served time until 1998. He was on supervised parole until 2006.

Police say Spengler was shooting from a berm near the Lake Road home and this was set up as a trap.  A Webster Police officer did exchange fire with a shooter. The officer was not injured.

Police say Spengler's sister is unaccounted for at this time. Spengler's mother recently passed away. Police don't know a motive yet.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Andrew Cuomo Firefighters Gun Violence New York Shooting

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