December 24, 2012
4 firefighters shot, 2 fatally, in western NY
Officer Down: Michael Chiapperini - [Webster, New York]
PoliceOne Member since 10/03/2009
The Associated Press
WEBSTER, N.Y. — Four volunteer firefighters responding to a pre-dawn house fire were shot Monday morning, two fatally, leading to a shootout in suburban Rochester, N.Y., police said.
"When they got there, they started to take on rounds and the initial responders were struck," said Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn. He also confirmed that the gunman is dead.
Two of the firefighters were killed and two others hospitalized after the ambush on a spit of land on Lake Ontario just northeast of Rochester. An off-duty police officer who was driving by has injuries from shrapnel. One of the slain firefighters is also a town police lieutenant.
The West Webster Fire District received a report of a car and house on fire on Lake Road, on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario, O'Flynn said. The fire started in one home and spread to two others and a car.
The two wounded firefighters were in critical condition at a Rochester hospital.
Webster, a middle-class, lakeside suburb, now is the scene of violence linked to house fires for two Decembers in a row.
Last Dec. 7, authorities say, a 15-year-old boy doused his home with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, 16 and 12. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped with injuries. He is being prosecuted as an adult.