Two Firefighters Shot Dead at New York Blaze

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Two firefighters were shot dead and two others were wounded in New York state on Monday when a gunman opened fire as the emergency personnel responded to a Christmas Eve blaze, police said.

The incident -- which comes as debate rages in the United States about gun control following the Newtown school massacre -- happened shortly before 6:00 am (1100 GMT) in Webster, a suburb of Rochester.

"The responding firefighters, when they pulled up at the scene, were fired upon by one or more shooters," Webster police chief Gerald Pickering told a press conference.

"Four of the firefighters were shot. Two are deceased, two were transported to area hospitals... it's still an active crime scene."

Pickering later said it appeared there was only one shooter, and that the suspect was found dead at the scene, killed by an apparent gunshot wound.

The two wounded firefighters were listed in guarded condition at a local hospital, according to the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper.

Monroe county sheriff Patrick O'Flynn said there was no longer any "active shooting" at the scene, where a security cordon was put up and residents were evacuated. Firefighters were still battling to contain the blaze.

The incident in Webster comes 10 days after the shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children, aged six and seven, and six adults were killed.

The shooter, Adam Lanza, killed his mother at their home before heading to the school, where he eventually took his own life.

The Newtown shooting has revived debate in the United States on the country's gun laws, which are far more lax than in most other developed nations.

President Barack Obama said he would support a new bill to ban assault rifles, and has put Vice President Joe Biden in charge of a panel looking at a wide range of other measures, from school security to mental health.

Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has pledged to introduce a bill in January that would ban at least 100 military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, and would curb the transfer, importation and the possession of such arms.

The United States has suffered an explosion of gun violence over the last three decades, including 62 mass shooting incidents since 1982.

Comments 7
Thumb jcamerican 24 December 2012, 19:51

Isn't our country great? Merry Christmas to all.

Missing inyourface 25 December 2012, 03:34

"Our" country you spoiled teenager?

Missing youssefhaddad 25 December 2012, 00:41

Every country has its vilains, the problem is that in some countries these vilains are revered as heroes. Yes, the USA is a great country despite all those perverted fools who perpetrate sensless crimes.
Merry Christmas

Missing inyourface 25 December 2012, 03:35

So merry Christmas is used as a hand that you extend like it were yours to give? Hypocrites

Missing inyourface 25 December 2012, 03:36

Any comment is good as long as you release it and relieve yourselves. Cheap

Missing inyourface 25 December 2012, 03:36

Oh, and M8 and M14: stuff it

Missing biney.supply 25 December 2012, 05:35

USA...the last hope for mankind. God bless America, if you think i am lying ask your Lebanese cousins in Michigan.