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Webster update: News reports say arrest imminent of person(s) who supplied William Spengler guns used in ambush. Autopsy results released. Chicago Fire episode brings complaints.

Above, community helping with hotel rooms for relatives & visiting firefighters planning to attend funerals.

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The two to three page typewritten note left behind by murderer William Spengler Jr. is described as taunting at times and is apparently leading law enforcement to understand how the convicted felon was able to obtain the weapons used to kill two firefighters and wound two others. Those guns are a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle, a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, and a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber handgun.

David Andreatta, DemocratandChronicle.com:

The note penned by William Spengler Jr. prior to his deadly ambush of firefighters in Webster explained how a female former neighbor and her daughter helped him acquire the guns he used in the attack, according to law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that criminal charges against at least one, perhaps both, of the women were imminent.

How Spengler obtained the guns has been of intense interest to investigators because Spengler’s criminal history prevented him from legally owning firearms. He pleaded guilty in 1981 to a felony manslaughter charge for killing his grandmother with a hammer a year earlier.

Also, preliminary autopsy results from the investigation have been released.


The Webster Police Department and the New York State Police have released autopsy results from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Michael Chiapperini died as a result of a single gunshot wound and Tomasz Kaczowka died as a result of two gunshot wounds.

The suspect, William Spengler, died as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. There was no evidence of any other gunshot wounds to Spengler.

In other news surrounding Monday’s ambush, WHEC-TV is apologizing for running Wednesday’s episode of Chicago Fire, which was a repeat of a November episode involving firefighters and gunfire.

Brian Stetler, The New York Times:

An NBC station in upstate New York expressed regret on Thursday for televising a repeat of “Chicago Fire,” a network drama about firefighters, that bore resemblances to a real-life Christmas Eve shooting there.

Fans of the show criticized NBC for rerunning the episode because it, in the words of the network’s description, portrayed two firefighters “pinned down by gunfire while trying to help the victim of a gang shooting.” In Webster, N.Y., on Monday, two firefighters were killed and two others were injured after a man lured them into a trap by setting a fire. The man later killed himself.

A Statement from WHEC-TV Vice President & General Manager, Derek Dalton:

Last night, NBC, our network, ran an episode of Chicago Fire that many in our community felt was insensitive in light of the Christmas Eve tragedy.

We understand and regret the timing of this episode.  By no means did we, or NBC, intend any disrespect to the families or our community affected by the recent events in Webster.

All of us in the WHEC-TV family have a personal connection to our community and our firefighters.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and we will continue to cover this story with compassion. 

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