Police Still Can't Find Sister of NY Firefighter Shooter

Fight with her might have preceded his attack on firefighters
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2012 7:30 AM CST
Police Still Can't Find Sister of Latest Shooter
A Monroe County Sheriff's Department armored truck drops off residents who were evacuated from the neighborhood in Webster, New York.   (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Max Schulte)

It's still a guessing game in upstate New York on what set off 62-year-old William Spengler before he killed two firefighters in an ambush and injured two others. But one potential clue is that his sister, who lived with him in Webster, remains missing. Spengler "couldn't stand" her, a friend tells the AP, and sources tell Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle that a dispute with her might have preceded his attack on the firefighters. “I’m certain there were some mental health issues," says the Webster police chief.

Spengler served prison time years ago for killing his grandmother but had apparently been living a quiet life since being paroled in the late 1990s. He lived with his sister and mother, but his mother died two months ago. "He loved his mama to death," the friend says. Authorities say Spengler set his house and car on fire, then holed up outside with a rifle and pistol to wait for first responders. Killed were Mike Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19. The other two firefighters remain hospitalized but are expected to recover. More details on Spengler and his victims here. (More Webster, New York stories.)

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