Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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December 26, 2012

NY firemen's killer mapped out plan for slayings

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The first police officer who arrived chased and exchanged shots with Spengler, recounting it later over his police radio.

"I could see the muzzle blasts comin' at me. ... I fired four shots at him. I thought he went down," the officer said.

At another point, he said: "I don't know if I hit him or not. He's by a tree. ... He was movin' eastbound on the berm when I was firing shots." Pickering portrayed the officer as a hero who saved many lives.

The audio posted on the website RadioReference.com also has someone reporting "firefighters are down" and saying "got to be rifle or shotgun — high-powered ... semi or fully auto."

Spengler had been charged with murder in his grandmother's death but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of manslaughter, apparently to spare his family a trial. After he was freed from prison, Spengler had lived a quiet life on Lake Road on a narrow peninsula where Irondequoit Bay meets Lake Ontario.

That ended when he left his burning home Monday morning, armed with his weapons, a lot of ammunition and a measure of hate.

"I'm not sure we'll ever know what was going through his mind," Pickering said.

Services were set for the two Rochester-area volunteer firefighters. Calling hours will be held at Webster Schroeder High School on Friday and Saturday. A funeral service for Chiapperini was scheduled for noon Sunday at the high school, with burial in West Webster Cemetery.

A funeral Mass for Kaczowka will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Stanislaus Church in Rochester. Burial will be at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.

___

Esch reported from Albany. Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister in New York City also contributed to this report.

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