Authorities say William Spengler set a house and car ablaze and then opened fire when firefighters showed up.(Photo: Jamie Germano, USA TODAY)
WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) - Police say an ex-con who killed two firefighters in upstate New York had the same caliber and make military-style rifle used in the Connecticut school massacre.
Webster police also say 62-year-old William Spengler typed a note pledging to burn down his neighborhood and do what he liked doing best, "killing people."
Police Chief Gerald Pickering says Spengler, who served 17 years in prison for manslaughter in the 1980 hammer slaying of his grandmother, set his house afire before dawn Christmas Eve before taking a revolver, a shotgun and a 223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle to a sniper position outside. The chief say "He was equipped to go to war, kill innocent people."
Authorities say Spengler sprayed bullets at the first responders, killing two firefighters and injuring two others who remain hospitalized in stable condition. He then killed himself as seven houses burned on a sliver of land along Lake Ontario.
Today, the death toll rose to three as police revealed that a charred body believed to be the killer's 67-year-old sister, Cheryl Spengler, was found in his fire-ravaged home.
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