BREAKING: NY Fireman Ambush Killer Used Bushmaster AR-15

 

“Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said Tuesday that 62-year-old William Spengler was [illegally] armed with a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, a .38-caliber revolver and a 12-gauge shotgun in Monday’s ambush,” huffingtonpost.com reports. “Spengler killed two firefighters and wounded two others before fatally shooting himself.” Crucially, perhaps, “Police have not said which weapon or weapons were used to shoot the firefighters.” That said Pickering told the press it was “likely” the killer used the Bushmaster. At the moment, the mainstream media has focused its main attention on Spengler’s suicide note which read (in part): “I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best – killing people.” In 1981, Spengler pleaded guilty to manslaughter for bludgeoning his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer. He was imprisoned until 1998. Supervised parole expired in 2006.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

67 Responses to BREAKING: NY Fireman Ambush Killer Used Bushmaster AR-15

  1. avatarChris says:

    This guy should have been executed after the FIRST murder. But all these we’re had illegally since he’s a felon. Unless you totally ban guns this will happen time to time as long as convicted murderers keep getting released from prison.

  2. avatarCA_Chris says:

    Isn’t this guy the felon who killed his grandmother and got out on parole? What do you mean that murderers will break the law to get weapons and kill again? Gun control didn’t work, and this guy should still be in prison for his first violent murder! What idiot gives cold blooded murderers a second chance to offend?

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Well, he didn’t shoot his grandmother, he only beat her to death with a hammer, something the lib establishment can readily forgive, Randy

    • avatarhmmmmmmmm says:

      Dude WTF are you talking about? How can you say gun control doesn’t work when this country has never even tried it? This guy didn’t have illegal access to firearms because gun control doesn’t work – that is utter BS – he had access to weapons because it is ridiculously easy to get a gun in this country.

      Maybe you don’t understand how gun control works – it is actually the opposite of what happened here, ie it’s actually HARD to get hold of a gun under gun control. FLAME DELETED

      • avatarWLCE says:

        “Dude WTF are you talking about? How can you say gun control doesn’t work when this country has never even tried it? ”

        the countries that have tried it are examples of gun control not working. The states in the US that have tried it are examples of gun control not working. Need I say more?

        “This guy didn’t have illegal access to firearms because gun control doesn’t work – that is utter BS – he had access to weapons because it is ridiculously easy to get a gun in this country.”

        It was already illegal for this man to possess a firearm, yet the magical hands of the law did not appear and take them away from him. Im glad guns are easy to access. they are protected under the 2nd amendment.

        Here’s a better idea: this POS should have been kept locked away for beating his grandmother to death. But i find it fascinating that you anti-gunners say nothing about our incompetent justice system freeing murderers but jump on the gun control bandwagon that only affects law abiding citizens…

        jackasses.

        “Maybe you don’t understand how gun control works – it is actually the opposite of what happened here, ie it’s actually HARD to get hold of a gun under gun control. That’s a mistake pro gun simpletons like you seem to make a lot, but I don’t see what’s so hard to grasp.”

        Again, I dont see how hard it is to grasp that it is bullshit that anti-gunners want to punish law abiding citizens for the actions of psychopaths like this…especially when they should have been kept locked up to begin with.

        considering that the advantages of gun ownership outweighing the disadvantages, ill be less inclined to listen to the crying, bitching soapbox.

      • avatarScout says:

        There is a LOT of gun control laws already. They do make it hard to get firearms – but only to people who actually obey the law. Not a case here – so what is your point?

      • avatartdiinva says:

        Look [flame deleted], if we were to make all the guns go away tomorrow transnational criminal organizations like the Russian mob, MS-13, the Zetas, Sinolas and all the other drug gangs would just add guns to their product lines and we would live in a world where criminal gangs rule the streets because they would be the only people to have guns.

        the real cause of violent crime is the social policies championed by people like you that destroy the social fabric and increase the people on welfare and the large number of out of wedlock births. Guns aren’t the problem people like you are the problem. All the jurisdictions run by progressives are bankrupt and laying off police in droves. When they ban guns and there aren’t enough police what do you think will happen to a disarmed population?

        • avatarJoshinGA says:

          Ahem. See Mexico as an example of this: “if we were to make all the guns go away tomorrow transnational criminal organizations like the Russian mob, MS-13, the Zetas, Sinolas and all the other drug gangs would just add guns to their product lines and we would live in a world where criminal gangs rule the streets because they would be the only people to have guns.”

  3. avatarapollo13 says:

    Of course he did, that’s what they told him to use.It goes along perfectly with their AWB plan.

    Everyone on the parole board who let him out needs to be held accountable, as an accessory to the crime…
    In ALL cases where parolees repeat, or commit other crimes.

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Yup, this right here. In some places being an accessory is equal to comiting the crime.

      Anyways, is anyone familliar with how a parole board works? The more I think about it the more I wonder why it is not a jury of our peers.

  4. avatarGeoff says:

    Radio audio from the scene reported expended shotgun shells at the ambush site.

  5. avatarDavid says:

    Arguably the most dangerous weapon in this guy’s arsenal is fire. It has the potential to spread and has killed more men than cancer. Is banning fire on the table now?

    • avatarWSBS says:

      We gotta at least get rid of some of those economy size matchboxes with like 500+ matches. Why does anyone need that many matches?!

      /end sarcasm

      • avatarIn Memphis says:

        “Why does anyone need that many matches?!”

        Hunting obviously. Since we dont need 27 rounds after missing with the first 3, you can burn the forest down.

  6. avatarRoss says:

    For the longest time the AK47 was the gun used in all shootings as far as the media was concerned, now it’s the AR15, but if one if the talking heads were asked to ID either firearm from a table of Ruger Mini 14′s they wouldn’t even know what was missing.

  7. avatarAharon says:

    In the minds of the phobic-gun-grabbers who usually want a police-nanny state it is noble to disarm innocent law abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves while it is immoral to execute or keep murders in prison for life.

  8. avatarJSIII says:

    I thought so called assault weapons were illegal in New York….not to mention the guy was a convicted Felon….but we need more gun laws…yep more gun laws will solve the problem….somehow

    • avatarGeoff says:

      Indeed NYS has a carbon copy of the 94 AWB… and it sucks to live here.

    • avatarMr Pierogie says:

      This is exactly what the government’s position will be: this whole tragedy happened because current gun laws are too lenient! Therefore more restrictions are necessary.

      Never mind the fact that to this psycho it didn’t matter how many gun control laws are on the books (and NYS has plenty), he broke them all anyway. So if we pass more gun control laws, how would that deter him? Let’s say he was willing to brake, say 5 laws, with no problem, but if there were 6 he’d think twice about it? Bloomberg would probably say that the answer is yes.

  9. avatarLeo338 says:

    Another psycho democrat making all law abiding gun owners look bad. Almost all convicted murderers self identified as democrats.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Most of the people I know who are assholes are also Republicans. By your reasoning, I must therefore conclude that all Republicans are assholes.

      Present company excepted, of course. (Did I do that right? Isn’t that how people who say horrifyingly bigoted stuff get away with it?)

    • avatardaveR says:

      “Almost all convicted murderers self identified as democrats.”

      Do you really think that you’re making a valid point here? Do you REALLY think that most felons are politically aware…in the slightest?

      • avatarLeo338 says:

        They may not be involved on a daily basis but they are politically aware. I have close friends that work in our legal system and they know this to be true as well. That’s where I got it from. The majority of your criminals come from poverty. What do people in poverty usually associate with? Democrat of course. You may not think felons can vote but they do. They had people registering felons to vote in our city this year, the volunteers were affiliated with the democrats. It’s also no secret to criminals that liberal policies usually favor them and can sometimes give them more rights. You also don’t think murderers aren’t aware of the democrats fighting to abolish the death penalty? CNN also had an article not too long ago on serial killers and they were more likely to be democrats.

        Alpha were you one of the people defending Obama telling others how dumb they were for thinking he would ever touch the 2a?? I must have hit a nerve surely you must be a democrat. You can flame republicans all you want because unlike you I am not loyal to any party, so go ahead!

        • avatarLeo338 says:

          Also have you people ever seen a protest held by democrats? The majority of them are violent. Just look at how violent those Occupy protest were as well.

          Don’t tell me that most democrats are not like that because that is not what I have experienced in life or even in the last few weeks just on the internet. You have them calling for murder of NRA members, or saying people with guns deserved to be killed. I have also seen several violent threats on Facebook pages as well. I am a member of quite a few pro gun pages that were around prior to the Sandy Hook incident. The 10,000+ members on the page are always polite and try to have a sensible conversation with these people when they post. I have only seen 1 anti person act in a reasonable way, all the others are hostile and then gravitate towards threats and violence after a short period of talking.

    • avatarAccur81 says:

      Good Lord, man. We’ve got some good folks on this site who are Democrats and Independents, there’s no need to alienate them.

      • avatarAzman says:

        What’s a democrat? For that matter what’s a republican? I mean, aren’t concepts better than bland labels by now guys?

      • avatarLeo338 says:

        My apologies if anyone was offended. It wasn’t intended to be directed towards anyone in particular. I got tired of people on FB and other forums blaming me or us in general for every little shooting that happens. I also was not implying all Dems are criminals.

        I don’t know how many times I read this weekend “Now NRA loving whacks are shooting firemen!” I am sick of hearing their BS.

  10. avatarJoseph says:

    Fast and Furious is now in full swing within our borders. They are coming….fast.

  11. avatarWLCE says:

    “In 1981, Spengler pleaded guilty to manslaughter for bludgeoning his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer. He was imprisoned until 1998. Supervised parole expired in 2006.”

    unbelievable.

    the justice system fails to keep psychopaths like these locked up…for the millionth time.

    • avatarMr Pierogie says:

      And of course politicians and media will be calling for more bans now, punishing the rest of us. But will they ever admit that releasing a psycho murderer from prison, who obviously was nowhere near rehabilitated by the system, was not the brightest idea? Hmm….

      • avatarWLCE says:

        exactly. this is the kind of shit that makes my blood boil.

        they think i should get punished because the f–king incompetent justice system releases a f–king psychopath like this…who illegally obtains a gun and kills people. how predictable.

  12. avatarIn Memphis says:

    Wait, manslaughter for beating someone to death?

    Can any lawyers please explain to me the difference between manslaughter and murder, it seems I am mixing something up.

    Were

    Maybe they were playing catch with the hammer and maybe granny forgot to put her glasses on?

  13. avatarCigr says:

    Anyone who beats a 92 year old woman to death should never be let out of jail in the first damn place.

    • avatarLarry says:

      Ban hammers. Why would anyone need more than one? Certainly no need for claw hammers with their pointy points. This tragedy could have been averted if that person didn’t have access to the hammer. Geez, anyone can buy one. Think of the children and ban hammers please!

  14. avatarshawmutt says:

    About 40 people are murdered every day in the US. Are we now only going to hear about those that involve scary black guns?

    • avatarIn Memphis says:

      Yes

    • avatardaveR says:

      First off, there are more than 40 firearms deaths per day; not sayin’ anything but just sayin’.

      Second, the problem right now is that “the media” is being handed (on a silver platter it seems) a good number of instances where there’s a black rifle being used by someone who’s certifiably bat-shit insane. And these nut jobs never see fit to simply off themselves, they’ve got to do something that is truly atrocious first.

      And finally, I don’t think that “the liberal media”–who many here agree as being as being completely gun illiterate–could portion out their stories to only highlight crimes where ARs are involved.

  15. avatarJames R says:

    This is really a good sign that our mental health system needs to be fixed. Along with our justice system but that’s not gonna really happen as far as the justice system goes.

  16. avatarCellude says:

    Again, sounds like a failure in the mental health system again.

  17. avatarSanchanim says:

    Well isn’t that just great! More fuel to feed the antis!
    Doesn’t matter that he could own a gun and was planning on killing again. They will focus on the rifle!

    • avatardaveR says:

      Their argument is that there are so many guns in circulation that it becomes statistically easy for this asshole to get one illegally.

      If we gun owners ever get serious about fighting the antis on stronger rhetorical and ethical grounds, we would begin by insisting that the sources of any and all illegally obtained guns be held SEVERELY accountable. And yes, if that means that I have to sell my private party sales through an FFL than so be it. The NRA’s insistence that this NOT be the case could soon prove to have just cost us access to a big chunk of our hobby.

      • avatarjwm says:

        DaveR, all my life the anti’s have been taking and giving nothing in return. I give nothing to them now. Guns may only be a hobby to you. But to me they’re a way of life worth fighting for.

        Courts have recently ruled in our favor. To own a gun is an individual right. I will let them be defeated in their efforts to ban so called “assualt weapons”. I am not going to give them anything, they must take it and I don’t think they can pull it off.

  18. avatarsurlycmd says:

    My Bushmaster is so well behaved. I sits in my safe in condition III minding it’s own business. Where are these people getting these bad rifles?

    What he killed a 92 YO lady in 1981 with a hammer? Where did he get that bad hammer? How does this poor misunderstood man find these bad tools?

    Pathetic justice system at work.

    • avatardaveR says:

      My Bushmaster is so well behaved. I sits in my safe in condition III minding it’s own business. Where are these people getting these bad rifles?

      for starters, from people who don’t store their guns in safes.

      What he killed a 92 YO lady in 1981 with a hammer? Where did he get that bad hammer? How does this poor misunderstood man find these bad tools?

      are you saying that back in 1981 he should have had equal access to hammers and guns (because he did)? are you saying that things would have been better now if he had only a hammer (because they would have)?

      • avatarKeith says:

        The pro-safe legal position is a loser. I keep mine in a safe, but don’t want to see a legal requirement for it.

        We have got respect the sanctity of the home. We’re choking on mala prohibita laws as it is.

  19. avatarAragorn says:

    Chock this up to the system failing to protect the responders not a Bushmaster even tho it could be any firearm brand.

    For the most part it is the fault of the more so than not politicians that have have made Capital Hill their career instead of being given the boot after one or two terms. If term limits are good enough for the top job it should be good enough for anyone holding the title of Governor on up the chain. It would also not hurt to make it mandatory that The Federal Government in DC including the Supreme Court Judges be made up of at least 30% military veterans.

  20. avatarAZGoot says:

    All this extra media publicity about Bushmaster rifles is making me want one. It’s probably the one brand I don’t own. Perhaps my collection of more than a half-dozen modern sporting rifles and mini-14 to boot will suffice.

  21. avatarSDFreeman says:

    Hey gun control does work, Look at the examples It worked in Turkey, Germany, China, Russia also Cambodia and much more countries. So when people say gun control doesn’t work show them the millions of unarmed citizens that were killed after gun control laws were implemented. Without gun control you could not have genocide. So if you’re a dictator or power-hungry push for gun control laws it’s so much easier for killing unarmed citizens.

  22. avatarIn Memphis says:

    So whats the deal with Bushmasters? Is it actually the brand being used most or is it kind of like how every gun used to be an AK-47?

    • avatarMikeP says:

      They used to just say “AR” (well, ever since they stopped just saying “AK”). Since CT, when the brand was made public, every one will be a “Bushmaster” – even if it is it’s a bit trivial what brand was used. Here we have a statistical fallacy known as the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy”. Take a series of data points and draw your “target” after-the-fact so the bulls-eye happens to fall over the most concentrated data points (think throwing darts at a wall, then drawing the target after). AR15s have been the most popular civilian semi-automatic rifle (and perhaps any rifle) for some time, and Bushmaster and DPMS seem to be the most popular brands among them (not the best, necessarily, but the ones people buy most due to a cost/benefit decision). As a result, it’s not statistically significant that quite a few homocides have occured using the most popular semi-automatic rifle in the US. If the Honda Accord is the most popular car on the road, and you look at auto accident stats you’re likely to find a lot of Accords. Someone might try to conclude that there must be something wrong with people having easy access to Honda Accords. If they did that, they’d be engaging in a statistical fallacy. But try telling that to people hopped up on political momentum, hate, and “get-evenism”.

      • avatarMikeP says:

        I should revise and extend my remarks above: They’re not even doing the “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy” right, since “assault weapons” represent a rather flimsy percentage of firearms homocides out there, the vast majority being commited with handguns. So perhaps my analogy should be: sifting through auto accident data, peppered with Accords, in order to find the few Hummer accidents so you can demonize them for political reasons. So politics trumps not only logic, but logical fallacy as well. Then again, maybe not – they’ve been a hot mess over handguns forever, only very recently switching to ARs as the “evil” firearm. They’ll be back on handguns soon enough. And “sniper rifles” (scoped bolt-actions, including mil-surp). Mil surp in general (war weapons used by soldiers … you don’t “need” that – you’re not fighting Nazis, the Red Army or anything). Shotguns (which spew a shower of lead death). So forth and so on.

      • avatarMikeP says:

        And hell, they’re not even doing statistical fallacy right – handguns account for the vast majority of firearm homocides by a wide margin. Go figure.

      • avatarIn Memphis says:

        Thanks for the breakdown MikeP.

        Its too bad we cant use that against them. Since they cant get their terminology, stats or even crime rates right just feed then a bunch of nonsense terminology and agree to a ban on it then when it goes in to effect it means absoloutley nothing.

        To them at least. We win and let them think they fixed the country while making themselves look stupid.

        I hope that made sense

  23. avatarSaul Feldstein says:

    Convenient how these Bushmaster AR15s keep getting dropped, err, turning up at these police controlled crime scenes.

  24. avatarfireman322 says:

    if this dude killed his grandmother with a hammer back in 1992 why aren’t we banning hammers, get those hammers off the shelves they are obviously killing people all around us.

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