Police say gunman who shot four firefighters is dead

3:41 PM, Dec 24, 2012   |    comments
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WEBSTER, N.Y. - A western New York police chief says a gunman who entrapped and shot four volunteer firefighters outside a blazing home is dead.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says 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.

He also says the gunman is dead and 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 shooting Monday morning happened in a quiet neighborhood of seasonal and year-round homes.

Police in New York state say the man who ambushed firefighters had served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering says the 62-year-old 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 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.

Police say four homes in all were destroyed and four damaged by the spreading flames.

Emergency radio communications capture someone saying he "could see the muzzle flash coming at me" as the gunman ambushed the firefighters who were responding to a blaze he had set to trap them.

The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun."

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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