Sister's Planned House Sale May Have Sparked NY Shooter

Thousands attend firefighter's funeral

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 30, 2012 3:14 PM CST

(Newser) – Police are floating a possible motive for William Spengler's orgy of violence: His sister was planning to sell their house. Cheryl Spengler, who didn't get along with her live-in brother, had bought a house in Henrietta, New York, and was planning to sell the family home in Webster, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports. That may have inspired Spengler to set it ablaze on Christmas Eve and fatally shoot two volunteer firefighters who showed up before killing himself. Cheryl hasn't been found, but a body yet to be identified was removed from the home's charred remains.

Thousands of people came to Webster this morning to pay their respects to Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka, the firefighters killed by Spengler. A line of police, state troopers, and firefighters at Chiapperini's funeral silently moved past his flag-draped casket, the AP reports; Kaczowka's funeral is set for tomorrow. "They were willing to give their lives," said Gary Gnage, who came with his wife Deborah despite not knowing the two men. "Like all firemen, every time they go on a call, they are willing to give their lives to help other people."

This undated image provided by the West Webster fire department shows firefighter Lt. Michael Chiapperini.   (AP Photo/West Webster Fire Department)
This 2006 image provided by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department shows William H. Spengler Jr., 62, who served 17 years in prison for the 1980 slaying of Rose Spengler, 92, inside her home.   (AP Photo/Monroe County Sheriff's Department)
This undated image provided by the West Webster fire department shows firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka.   (AP Photo/West Webster Fire Department)
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