Son of Murdered Firefighter Had to Listen to Call for Help After His Dad Was Shot

murdered firefightersThe story of the firefighters killed in Webster, New York is absolutely heartbreaking no matter how you look at it. But the news that volunteer firefighter Michael Chiapperini’s 19-year-old son, Nick — also a volunteer fireman — was working as a 911 ambulance dispatcher and heard all the calls coming in about his dad is just about sickening.

Chiapperini died after gunman William Spengler, a 62-year-old ex-con, opened fire on four firemen in what appears to be a planned ambush. Four volunteer firefighters were shot at the scene and two of them, including Chiapperini have died.

Firefighters are true heroes. They put their lives on the line so that the people can be safe. They save lives. If there is a job that is more heroic, I can't think of it. And this is how they are repaid? It is just too awful to even contemplate.

Chiapperini's son, who undoubtedly looked up to his dad and wanted to follow in his heroic footsteps, just breaks my heart. According to friends, he is "not doing well." And who could blame him? A friend is quoted in the New York Post:

Nick heard everything on the radio. He heard Joe [Hofsetter] hollering for help. He came over to our house at 6 in the morning, pounded on the door, came in and told my wife, ‘That f--ker shot my dad. He’s dead, lying in the road.' Nick is having a tough time.

Sick people are everywhere, it's true. And we can't stop them always. But this is the second time in two weeks that some of our most vulnerable and beloved community members have been killed by guns. First it was teachers and young children. Then it was firefighters.

I don't know what the answer is. One could say better gun control, but we could also make the argument that crazy people will find a way (Spengler served time for killing his grandmother with a hammer). But it does seem like stories like these are becoming more commonplace.

Something needs to change. We can't have people whose entire careers are based on helping others be gunned down. It's just not acceptable. This is not the "price" of our freedom. This is a sign of how far we have fallen.

My heart is broken.

What do you think can be done to stop criminals like this?


Image via AMagill/Flickr

crime, fire, guns


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M_Wil... M_Williams

This breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes. i am dating a firefighter and i know how scary the job can be. I was very upset when i heard about the tradegy because you are very right these men are heros. they are just like the military men, while they fight away from home.. firefighters and paremedics fight here for us and our lives. the fact that his son had to hear all that kills me. poor man, i hope he can find some closure here in this rough time. so so sad. /:


If only all the nut jobs could go to war with each other and leave innocents the hell alone. I don't have it in me to deal with the abuse excuse, alcohol syndrome, mental illness,twinkie defenses(guess I don't have to worry about that anymore) ; I'd like them all gone.

nonmember avatar Katie

Each case is different, all have a failure where something could have been done to prevent the tragedy that didn't happen. In this case, the man had already murdered his grandmother. All of the people responsible for this man being out of jail have the blood of these firefighters on their hands. From the the plea bargain to the parole, all people involved with decreasing the crime he was convicted of and the amount of time spent in jail are responsible for this known murderer being allowed to murder again. He already could not own guns legally, but like most criminals, had no problem obtaining an illegal weapon. This crazy killer also killed his sister. She apparently hated her brother and likely had good reason.

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