From CNN (via Crooks and Liars):
A man convicted of killing his grandmother decades ago ambushed firefighters on Monday, fatally shooting two of them as they arrived to battle a blaze in upstate New York, police said.
Two other firefighters were wounded in the attack in the Rochester-area town of Webster. A police officer from the nearby town of Greece suffered minor shrapnel wounds when his vehicle was hit by gunfire.
Investigators believe the suspect, [name redacted by me because fuck him] set the original fire, then likely set himself up on a berm with a clear view of the scene and started shooting.
“It appears that it was a trap,” Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. “There was a car and a house that were involved in flames, probably set by [some asshole with a gun], who laid in wait in armament and then shot the first responders.”
The asshole who shall remain unnamed by me also managed to destroy much of his neighborhood by keeping other responders away, before apparently offing himself.
For several hours Monday, the threat of gunfire stopped firefighters from battling the blaze and forced police SWAT teams to evacuate 33 people in the neighborhood of small waterfront homes.
Eventually, seven houses were “totally destroyed” by the fire. Although the fires were under control as of 2:30 p.m. ET, by then authorities still hadn’t been able to get in any of the homes. Pickering said it’s possible more victims could be inside.
“I’m hoping that everyone was able to escape from the inferno,” he said. “Those houses were close together.”
All of this happened on Christmas Eve, and all because a convicted killer with some pretty serious mental health issues got his hands on some guns, and then decided to kill firemen.
I don’t much care right now about the shithead who did this. Two people are dead, on Christmas fucking Eve. Via the Associated Press:
– Lt. Michael Chiapperini, 43, had been named Firefighter of the Year just two weeks ago, and he led the fire department’s Explorer program for young people interested in becoming firefighters. He had recently taken vacation time to help recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported. He also was the public information officer for the Webster Police Department. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son, who also worked with the fire department
– Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, was a 911 dispatcher for Monroe County. He also was a member of the Explorers group that Chiapperini advised, had worked at a fast-food restaurant and had been a member of the fire department for about a year. One of three brothers, he was studying at Monroe County Community College. On his Facebook page, he said he could speak Polish and German.
I’m politicizing the shit out of this. To those who don’t think we should politicize incidents of gun violence, are firefighters any more worthy of your attention than kindergarteners?
I assume someone will make the disappointingly obvious and bad suggestion that we should just arm the firefighters. Many in this nation may not think firefighters should have collective bargaining rights, but we could at least give them guns. We could also post armed guards at fires.
We could also try to address mental health while working to keep the more insanely non-recreational guns under control, and by that I mean talking about mental health as more than just a way to try to Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook Share on Linkedin share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tumblr it Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Print for later Bookmark in Browser Tell a friend