Chilling Note Reveals Why Gunman Set Trap for Firefighters

Article excerpt

Killing is what I do best, said 62-year-old who set his house ablaze to lure victims

The gunman who killed two New York firefighters after luring them into a trap by setting his own house ablaze left a note saying he wanted to burn down the neighbourhood and "do what I like doing best, killing people".

The chilling words written by William Spengler were made public by police yesterday, after it was revealed that the killer had previously been imprisoned over the death of his grandmother. The conviction for the killing in 1980 meant that Spengler, who took his own life after fatally shooting the firemen on Monday, was not allowed to possess weapons.

After pleading guilty to manslaughter, Spengler served 17 years in jail for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer. He was released on parole in 1998. Since then, he had lived in the house in Webster in upstate New York with his mother, Arline, and sister Cheryl, who is missing after the shootings.

According to officials, Spengler armed himself with three weapons, including the same make of rifle used by the Sandy Hook school killer Adam Lanza, before setting a car and his house on fire on Monday. When a group of local firemen responded they were met by a hail of gunfire from the 62-year-old, who began shooting at them from higher ground nearby. …