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Police: Gunman set ‘trap’ for New York firefighters
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The two wounded firefighters, Joseph Hofsetter and Theodore Scardino, were in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, authorities said. Both were awake and alert and are expected to recover.
Mr. Hofsetter, also a full-timer with the Rochester Fire Department, was hit once in the pelvis, and the bullet lodged in his spine, authorities said. Mr. Scardino was hit in the chest and knee.
Monday’s shooting and fires were in a neighborhood of seasonal and year-round homes set close together across the road from the lakeshore. The area is popular with recreational boaters but is normally quiet at this time of year.
“We have very few calls for service in that location,” Chief Pickering said. “Webster is a tremendous community. We are a safe community, and to have a tragedy befall us like this is just horrendous.”
Sheriff O’Flynn lamented the violence, which comes on the heels of other shootings, including the massacre of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
“It’s sad to see that that this is becoming more commonplace in communities across the nation,” Sheriff O’Flynn said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state police and Office of Emergency Management were working with local authorities.
“Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “We as the community of New York mourn their loss as now two more families must spend the holidays without their loved ones.”
Webster, a middle-class suburb, now is the scene of violence linked to house fires for two Decembers in a row.
In 2011, authorities said, a 15-year-old boy doused his home with gasoline and set it ablaze, killing his father and two brothers, ages 16 and 12. His mother and 13-year-old sister escaped with injuries. The youthg is being prosecuted as an adult.
• Associated Press writers Chris Carola, George Walsh and Mary Esch in Albany, N.Y., contributed to this report.
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