Webster, NY – The gunman who allegedly killed two West Webster firefighters and injured two was reportedly found dead at the scene. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a crew of Rochester area volunteer firefighters were fired upon after responding to an early morning blaze on Lake Road.
A lone gunman opened fire on the emergency responders after they exited their trucks and began the work necessary to extinguish the flames, Fox News reports. During a press conference held just after noon, local fire and police officials were visibly shaken by the tragic Christmas Eve shooting.
The alleged shooter was reportedly found dead after a short pursuit by law enforcement officers, Town of Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering stated during the press conference. It is currently unknown if the gunshot wound was self-inflicted or was fired by a chasing officer.
Chief Pickering also had this to say during the meeting with the media:
“It appears to be a trap that was set for responders.”
Two wounded Webster firefighters are being treated at nearby Strong Hospital, the Webster Post reports. Webster Fire Department Lt. and Public Safety Officer Mike Chiapperini and firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka were fatally wounded in the early morning shooting near Lake Ontario. Both men were trained volunteer firefighters who routinely risked their lives to protect the community.
The two firefighters who were injured were transported to the University of Rochester Medical Center and are reportedly listed in guarded condition in the intensive care unit. One of the West Webster firefighters suffered injuries to his pelvis, according to a statement by a hospital official.
The Webster firefighters took on rounds of fire after they exited their engines to put out a combination car and structure fire. An off duty police officer was injured by shrapnel when he drove onto the scene. It is unclear at this time what type of weapon the alleged gunman used to shoot four firefighters in Webster.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted this after learning about the Webster firefighter shooting:
“NY’s first responders are true heroes as they time and again selflessly rush toward danger to keep our families safe.”
As a volunteer firefighter’s wife, I strongly second Governor Cuomo’s statement. The Webster Fire Department family will surely be in the thoughts and prayers of millions of Americans across the country this Christmas Eve.