Us

Officials: NY gunman led quiet life before killing 2 firefighters, injuring 2 others in ambush

  • A house burns Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. A former convict set a house and car ablaze in his lakeside New York state neighborhood to lure firefighters then opened fire on them, killing two and engaging police in a shootout before killing himself while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)

    A house burns Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. A former convict set a house and car ablaze in his lakeside New York state neighborhood to lure firefighters then opened fire on them, killing two and engaging police in a shootout before killing himself while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)  (The Associated Press)

  • A house burns Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. An ex-con set a car and a house ablaze in his lakeside neighborhood to lure firefighters, then opened fire on them, killing two, engaging in a shootout with police and committing suicide while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)

    A house burns Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. An ex-con set a car and a house ablaze in his lakeside neighborhood to lure firefighters, then opened fire on them, killing two, engaging in a shootout with police and committing suicide while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police officers move in to look for a man who set fire to a house, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. A former convict set a house and car ablaze in his lakeside New York state neighborhood to lure firefighters then opened fire on them, killing two and engaging police in a shootout before killing himself while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)

    Police officers move in to look for a man who set fire to a house, Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 in Webster, New York. A former convict set a house and car ablaze in his lakeside New York state neighborhood to lure firefighters then opened fire on them, killing two and engaging police in a shootout before killing himself while several homes burned. Authorities used an armored vehicle to evacuate the area. (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Jamie Germano)  (The Associated Press)

Authorities say a man who gunned down two firefighters after luring them to his neighborhood by setting fires had attracted little attention since he got out of prison in the 1990s for killing his grandmother.

Police say 62-year-old William Spengler took shots at police before committing suicide on Monday as several homes burned.

Authorities used an armored vehicle to help residents flee dozens of homes on the shore of Lake Ontario.

Besides the two firefighters who died, two others have been hospitalized and an off-duty officer who was passing by was injured.

Spengler served more than 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old paternal grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980 at the house next to where Monday's attack happened. He was paroled in 1998.