US firefighters' killer left note saying he 'likes killing people'
A 62-year-old former convict deliberately started a blaze at a lakeside home in New York state before opening fire on his victims as they approached, and left a note saying he would continue to kill people as it was his favourite thing to do.
The incident comes 10 days after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut, where a teenager killed 20 children and six adults, reports The Telegraph.
William Spengler used three weapons including a .223-caliber semiautomatic Bushmaster rifle, the same make and caliber gun used by gunman Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook massacre. Spengler was also armed with a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, and a 12-gauge shotgun.
Sengler killed two firemen and injured another two, who had arrived to douse the house on fire.
Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Spengler had left a typewritten two or three page note, saying he is yet to see how much of the neighborhood he can burn down and do what he likes doing best, that is, killing people.
The gunman eventually shot himself in the head and died at the scene. His body was found on a beach next to Lake Ontario.
Spengler had previously served 17 years in jail for the manslaughter of his 92-year-old grandmother, who he beat to death with a hammer after an argument in 1980. He was released on parole in 1998 and lived in a three-bedroom, century-old property with his mother Arline, until she died in October.
Neighbours described Spengler as an "old hippie" who "loved his mama to death" and may have gone "crazy" in the wake of her death.
The firemen who died were identified as Michael Chiapperini, 43, who had just been named Firefighter of the Year two weeks ago, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19.
The two wounded firemen were Joseph Hofstetter, 33, who was hit in the pelvis, and Theodore Scardino, 48, who was hit in the chest and knee.
Webster police chief Gerald Pickering said Spengler's actions might be related to his arrest 30 years ago over the death of his grandmother.