WEBSTER, N.Y. (WBEN/AP) - Webster's police chief says a gunman who entrapped and shot four volunteer firefighters outside a blazing home is dead.
Chief Gerald Pickering says two of the firefighters were killed and two others hospitalized after what he described as an ambush trap in what is normally a quiet community with very few emergency calls.
An off-duty police officer who was driving by has injuries from shrapnel. One of the slain firefighters is also a town police lieutenant.
Pickering identifies the gunman as 62-year-old William Spengler, who was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. He had served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother.
Police say he set fire to a car and house to lure firefighters to his house on the shore of Lake Ontario early Monday.
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.
The shooting took place almost immediately as firefighters arrived at the scene to quell a house fire. Firefighters were forced to abandon the area as police attempted to take the gunman into custody. Police say seven homes in all were destroyed by the spreading flames.
Spengler was been found dead near the starting point of the original fire. Police say Webster police officers had exchanged gunfire with Spengler earlier in the incident before he turned a gun on himself.
CHILLING EMERGENCY AUDIO
Emergency radio communications capture someone saying he "could see the muzzle flash coming at me" as the state gunman ambushed firefighters responding to a blaze he had set to trap them.
The audio draws a chilling picture of the attack police say Spengler carried out Monday morning.
The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun."
U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter says federal laws are needed to curb "out-of-control" gun violence.
Slaughter released a statement Monday shortly after two firefighters were killed and two others wounded when they were shot while responding to the fire. The gunman, who police did not immediately identify, was also found dead.
Slaughter, a 13-term Democrat who represents the area where the shooting happened, said she'll do her part to pass "comprehensive" legislation to end gun violence.
The shootings in New York came 10 days after 26 people, including 20 first-graders, were gunned down in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.