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NY gunman had served time for grandmother’s death

Published: Mon, December 24, 2012 @ 3:03 p.m.

NY gunman had served time for grandmother’s death

WEBSTER, N.Y. (AP) — Police in New York state say a man who ambushed firefighters had served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says 62-year-old William Spengler was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.

Police say he set fire to a car and house to lure firefighters to his house on the shore of Lake Ontario early today.

When firefighters arrived, he opened fire, probably with a rifle. Two firefighters died at the scene and two others were hospitalized. A fifth first responder was injured.

Police don’t know a motive yet.


1AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years ago

Looks like we need to arm our firefighters as well as out teachers.

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2AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years ago

But, GOODNESS we need to keep our guns.

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3peacelover(791 comments)posted 2 years ago


Happy Holidays everyone.

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4IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago

The NRA is going to release a statement in which they'll announce plans to place a police officer on every fire truck.

Good thing that we shut down all the mental hospitals to save money. Just give the mental patients some meds and make sure they have easy access to a handgun or an assault weapon to keep them 'safe.'

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5Jerry(519 comments)posted 2 years ago

If he had been strapped to a table and had the needle shoved into his arm back in 1980, after he beat his grandmother to death with a hammer; this would not have happened.

Instead, a more liberal choice was made, and now we have dead firefighters.

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6IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago

If the mental institutions hadn't been closed for budgetary reasons (like Woodside) he, the Aurora shooter and the Newtown shooter would not have been free to run around and do what they did.

Instead a more conservative choice was made, and now we have mental patients going on mass killing sprees every week. But hey, look at all the money we're saving, the Tea Party must be so proud!!

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7Jerry(519 comments)posted 2 years ago

Where was there an indication that the perpetrator was ever committed to a mental institution, and subsequently released? I have not seen this part of the story.

He served time for "manslaughter", so he obviously was not found innocent by reason of insanity.

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8IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago

How can he be committed to a mental institution if there aren't any? We wait until they commit a crime and then send them to prison, that's my whole point. The Aurora shooter and the Newtown shooter would have never been able to do what they did if we hadn't closed all the mental hospitals to save money. But, we have Sarah Palin running around yelling "smaller government and less taxes!" Well teabaggers, you got your wish!

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9rickking123(312 comments)posted 2 years ago

Island Mike

Last time i checked sarah palin was in no positon to close any mental institutions. Maybe if the government knew how to spend its money judiciously instead of blowing it on stupid things there would be plenty to go around.

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10IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago


Sarah Palin is the face of the Tea Party and speaks on their behalf. I find it humorous that the right wing gun loving idiots think we should go ahead and spend BILLIONS of dollars to put police officers in every elementary school in the U.S., but they don't want to spend a penny for mental health facilities.

As far as the government dealing with wasteful spending, the first thing the media should look into is how many campaign contributors have family members working in government jobs. I bet they'll find that many of those jobs were simply 'created' to benefit a campaign contributor. We have a system that is run by lobbying groups, special interests and people of influence (NRA, big tobacco, teamsters, fortune 500 companies, Koch Brothers etc...). We the people aren't even on the radar of most politicians, they're concerned about generating money for their next campaign and what the latest poll numbers are saying.

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11rickking123(312 comments)posted 2 years ago


Not a fan of sarah palin. I just know that mental institutions were closed long before the tea party came around. So to blame the tea party when the facts don't support that is wrong.

and i was born with that name so i don't hide behind some alias. So is your last name "talk" and your first name "viny"??? Or our you one of these people that hide so that you can make character assassinations anonymously?? Please tell us your real name before you make any further comments about me.

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12Lifes2Short(3878 comments)posted 2 years ago


"We wait until they commit a crime and then send them to prison, that's my whole point."

They have mental health facilities in prison. Some are actually pretty good. It's boils down to the individual to keep on his meds and seek help well he's caged up. But they don't, they waste the days by sleeping, eating, playing cards and basketball.

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13IslandMike(757 comments)posted 2 years ago

The mental hospitals were all closed in the 70's and 80's. All the nuts like the Aurora, Newtown and Sikh Temple shooters were free to run around because there was nowhere to put them. You couple that with them overseeing there own meds and a society FLOODED with guns and now we have a recipe for disaster. Like I said, its not IF, but WHEN it will happen again.

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