Webster Police Chief: "We just want to underscore the heroism of the police officers"

Posted at: 01/07/2013 9:10 AM
Updated at: 01/07/2013 4:09 PM

A more detailed account of what went on while a gunman was ambushing West Webster firefighters was released at a news conference Monday morning.

Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering identified the officers who responded to the scene -- Mark Reed, in particular, was caught in the cross fire as a gunman shot four firefighters at the scene of the Lake Road fire.

At the news conference, Chief Pickering talked about how Reed engaged the shooter, firing six shots at him. The chief said William Spengler had 400 rounds of ammo and got off 58 shots before killing himself.

Chief Pickering said all the responding officers faced incredible danger. “We just want to underscore the heroism of the police officers that placed themselves in harms way on that day to protect other first responders.”

Webster Police Officer Shaun Welch and Irondequoit Police Officer Doug Pollock set-up the interior perimeter while Webster Police Officer Kevin Hall tried to protect Tomasz Kaczowka with his ballistic shield.

Police say Kaczowka and Webster Police Lieutenant and volunteer firefighter Mike Chiapperini were killed as a result of Spengler's actions. Two other firefighters, Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter, were also shot during the ambush. Both were recently released from Strong Memorial Hospital.

On Monday, Senator Charles Schumer urged President Obama to quickly review a request for the four West Webster firefighters to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Assemblyman Mark Johns has also sent a letter to President Obama in support of awarding the firefighters this honor.

Mark Reed Shaun Welch Kevin Hall