I Am The Great Obama
2012-12-24 19:41:35 UTC
Four firefighters were shot two fatally after responding to
an early morning blaze on Monday in Webster, N.Y., about 12
miles northeast of Rochester, officials said.
The suspected assailant also died at the scene, the Webster
police chief, Gerald L. Pickering said, though it was unclear if
he was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot or by the authorities.
It does appear that it was a trap that was set, Chief
Pickering said of the blaze that drew the firefighters.
Causative reasons, we dont have at this time.
One of the firefighters was able to flee the scene on his
own,' he added. The other three were pinned down at the
Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester said two firefighters were
in guarded condition. The two others died at the scene, Chief
The firefighters were from the West Webster Fire Department,
about four miles from the blaze, and were believed to be
As he recited the names of the four firefighters at a news
conference on Monday morning, Chief Pickering repeatedly choked
up. One of the deceased, Michael J. Chiapperini, was a police
lieutenant in the Webster Police Department.
These people get up in the middle of the night to go put out
fires, he said. They dont expect to be shot and killed.
An off-duty police officer from Greece, N.Y., who happened to be
driving by and stopped to help suffered shrapnel wounds from the
shooting, Chief Pickering added.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that the State Police and the Office
of Emergency Management were working with local officials. He
said that Webster firefighters and the police had initially
responded to a car fire.
New Yorks first responders are true heroes as they time and
again selflessly rush toward danger in order to keep our
families and communities safe, Mr. Cuomo said. Volunteer
firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken
from us as they once again answered the call of duty. We as the
community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families
must spend the holidays without their loved ones.
The fire continued to burn through the morning, having spread to
several homes. Four homes were fully engulfed and destroyed, and
33 area residents were evacuated, Chief Pickering said.
He added that, with authorities establishing and investigating
the crime scene, it took a while to make it safe for
firefighters to move in and combat the flames.
The site of the fire, Lake Road, runs along a narrow spit of
land that divides Lake Ontario from Irondequoit Bay. The houses
in the affected area are detached wood frame homes with yards,
across the street from the lake.
Chief Pickering likened the area to a little vacation nest.
We have very few calls for service in that location, he said.
Michael DAmico, a contractor who has lived on Lake Road for 20
years, said that residents were evacuated to a school. We still
cant go back, he said.
The area is home to many summer houses, he said, but some people
lived there year-round.
A lot of times I get woken up by gunfire, but I dont think too
much of it, Mr. DAmico said, noting that the area often
attracted duck hunters.
Usually the gunfire comes from the lake or the bay, he added.
This was from further down the road.
Vince DiPrima, an assistant manager at Bill Grays, a diner
across the bridge from the fires, said some firefighters had
visited his restaurant on Monday morning. He gave them some
The stuff that happened in Connecticut the other day, and then
this, Mr. DiPrima said.
By noon, State Police helicopters swarmed overhead. Emergency
vehicles zipped past.
Its a weird feeling, Mr. DiPrima said. Its Christmas Eve.