The Main Stream

Dec 24, 2012 6:18 PM by Lupita Murillo

Tucson Fire reacts to tragedy in upstate New York

TUCSON - Tucson firefighters react to random act of violence near Rochester, New York where two volunteer firefighters were shot and killed.

Police say, a man ambushed them Monday morning when they responded to a fire that was intentionally set.

The suspect is a 62-year-old man who served 17 years for manslaughter in the death of his grandmother.

Police say William Spengler, set fire to a car, and a house and when members of the volunteer fire department responded, he opened fire.

Two were killed, two more hospitalized and a fifth was injured.

The suspect then took his own life.

This random and senseless act of violence touched many, including firefighters here in Tucson.

Mike Wintrode of Station 5 says, "We're all brothers and sisters in this line of work and it really saddens you to think twice. Something like this to happen on Christmas eve of all days it's unbelievable."

When firefighters get a call they're thinking of saving lives and property not getting shot at.

Captain Barrett Baker says, "You're trying to help somebody in their worst moment. And then to be part of something that is not supposed to happen that way quite frankly. We're not supposed to go into the situation where all of a sudden we're getting shot at randomly."

Capt. Baker adds those volunteer firefighters were just doing their job, helping their community.

"They didn't get up and go to work that day expecting to have some random act of violence end their lives. In that act aspect our hearts and prayers go out to the families and the community itself that's having to deal with that."

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