William Spengler, who allegedly fired a gun on firefighters responding to a blaze on a home near Lake Ontario early this morning, has a felony record and served 18 years in jail for killing his 92-year-old grandmother, reports News 10 NBC.
Spengler allegedly murdered two volunteer firefighters, Lt. Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka in West Webster, New York, and wounded two other volunteer firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino.
John Ritter, an off-duty police officer was also injured by shrapnel, when he responded to the scene.
Spengler, 62, was supposed to be banned from owning a gun, because he was convicted a felon, however, he could have bought his gun through the 'gun show loophole,' which allows guns to be sold without a background check.
Or Spengler may have gotten his gun thanks to an NRA-supported overhaul of federal gun laws. Through "restoration," thousands of felons (including people convicted of violent crimes) across the country get their gun rights reinstated, often with little or no review, reports the New York Times.
Spengler died at the scene of the shootings, but it is not clear if it was a self-inflicted wound.