Firefighter ambush: Police chief said William Spengler left note detailing intent of arson, murder

WEBSTER, N.Y. - The man who ambushed and killed firefighters in western New York wrote a note detailing his murderous intent.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said investigators found the typewritten note from William Spengler, 62, after the shooting. Pickering wouldn't release the whole text of the note, but did read one excerpt:

"I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like to do best: Killing people."

Pickering described the note as "rambling," saying it revealed Spengler's intent but not his motive.

The chief also praised one of his officers who "immediately engaged" Spengler with a rifle.

"It was a combat condition. They were shooting at muzzle flash," he said.

Spengler had served time for manslaughter in his grandmother's death. He served approximately 18 years and was on parole through 2006.

Sunday afternoon, police revealed that human remains were found in Spengler's home. The body is believed to be Spengler's sister, Cheryl Spengler, who had been unaccounted for since the shooting.

As a convicted felon, Spengler was not supposed to have firearms. Pickering said he was prepared for the ambush with three weapons and "an arsenal of ammunition." How he got the weapons remains under investigation.

The guns were a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, a Mossberg 12-gauge pump action shotgun and a Bushmaster .223 rifle with flash suppressor. The rifle is the same brand and caliber as the weapon used in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

Spengler killed two firefighters in his ambush, Mike Chiapperini and Tomas Kaczowka. Two other firefighters,Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofsetter, were shot and are being treated in the ICU at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Scardino's primary injury was to his chest and Hofsetter's injury was to his pelvis, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Additionally, off-duty police officer John Ritter from the nearby community of Greece was injured by shrapnel. Pickering praised Ritter for trying to shelter the firefighters with his personal vehicle.

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