New York shooter, William Spengler, says in note he liked ‘killing people’
William Spengler murdered his grandmother 40 years ago, but never overcame his thirst for violence.
A sniper who ambushed volunteer firefighters in upstate New York on Monday, killing two and seriously wounding two others, left a note saying he hoped to burn down his neighborhood and kill as many people as possible, police said Tuesday.
Spengler, age 62, used a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, the same kind of weapon used in the assault on Sandy Hook Elementary School, Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.
Pickering, at a news conference Tuesday, read a sentence from the three-page typewritten note that detectives believe Spengler left behind: “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.”
The note indicated Spengler’s intentions, but not his motive, Pickering said. The rest of the contents will not be made public because it is evidence in a criminal investigation, he said.
There is “all kinds of speculation” about why he wanted to destroy his neighborhood and kill firefighters and residents, Pickering said.
“Just looking at the history, obviously this is an individual who had a lot of problems, to kill his grandmother,” Pickering said. “And I’m sure there were … mental health issues involved.”
After his 1981 manslaughter conviction, Spengler was given an indeterminate sentence, said Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
He ended up spending nearly 18 years behind bars until his release in 1998. Through 2006, Spengler was on supervised parole, during which time Doorley said she wasn’t aware of any events suggesting he had gotten into further trouble.