N.Y. neighbor charged in convicted felon's ambush of firefighters
WEBSTER, N.Y. — The neighbor of a convicted felon who ambushed firefighters on Christmas Eve, killing two, bought the guns for him and lied to the seller, knowing that he was not allowed to have them, authorities said Friday.
William Spengler had picked out the semiautomatic rifle and shotgun used in the ambush and went to the sporting goods store with the neighbor when she bought them for him, U.S. Attorney William Hochul said.
The neighbor, Dawn Nguyen of Rochester, was arrested on Friday. She faces a federal charge of knowingly making a false statement for signing a form indicating that she would be the legal owner of the guns, Hochul said.
She also was charged with a state count of filing a falsified business record, state police senior investigator James Newell said.
Shortly before her arrest, Nguyen said she did not want to talk about Spengler. A number listed in the name of her lawyer, David Palmiere, was disconnected.
The charges stem from the purchase of an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun that Spengler had with him Monday when firefighters Michael Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka were gunned down. Three other people were wounded before Spengler, 62, killed himself. He also had a .38-caliber revolver, but Nguyen is not connected to that gun, Newell said.
Late Monday, Nguyen told police that she had bought the guns for personal protection and that they were stolen from her vehicle, though she never reported the theft.