LOMPOC, Calif.- Two firefighters killed, two more are injured after a man opens fire when crews show up to battle a house fire in New York. Local firefighters react to the tragedy.
Firefighters in Webster, New York thought they were responding to just another structure fire until officials say they arrived to find 62-year-old William Spengler firing shots at crews, killing two, injuring two, then killing himself.
"This is one of those threats, if you will, that all responders face, firefighters, certainly police officers, ambulance personnel, it's just one of those factors that is a risk for all of us," said Battalion Chief Mark Clayton, Lompoc Fire Department.
For Battalion Chief Mark Clayton the shooting hits close to home for his department, after he says a man opened fire near the Lompoc fire station back in 2005.
"The room that he opened fire on there was a firefighter seated at the desk, felt the bullets whiz by. It took him a couple minutes to process what was going on, but it does happen," said Clayton.
Fortunately, the suspect missed, but Chief Clayton says it's scary to think this does happen.
"As these things occur seemingly more frequently in the back of my mind and as a battalion commander it's starting to become something more of a concern to me," he said.
A concern that is too late for the two firefighters killed in New York.
"It does appear that it was a trap set for responding first responders but causative reasons we don't have at this time," said Chief Gerald Pickering, Webster Police Department.
Battalion Chief Mark Clayton says when hearing about tragedies like this it becomes an eye opener for the entire firefighting community.
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