Originally posted on National Post | News:

WEBSTER, N.Y. — A former convict set a house and car ablaze in his lakeside New York state neighbourhood 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 armoured vehicle to evacuate the area.

The gunman, William Spengler, had served more than 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death in 1980 at the house next to where Monday’s attack happened, town Police Chief Gerald Pickering said. Spengler, 62, was paroled in 1998 and had led a quiet life since, authorities said. Convicted felons are not allowed to possess weapons.

Police say he set the fires to lure firefighters to his home and then opened fire from outdoors, probably with a rifle from atop an earthen berm.

“It does appear it was a trap,” Pickering told a news conference. “These…

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