Sgt. Kevin Hall of the Webster Police Department said that as he was driving to the massive fire, he heard one of his colleagues say firefighters on the scene were being shot at, but he said it had to have been a mistake.
"You can only imagine the chaos there between the fire and you're hearing shots, and there are fire personnel on the ground, the fire truck is crashed into the side of the road. It was just absolute chaos.” Sgt. Hall said.
When he arrived on the scene, he told WHEC that his colleague Mark Reed was already engaging in gunfire with the arsonist and gunman, William Spengler.
“You are surrounded by water. It's very dark, very cold windy. There was a fireman down and I thought I had an opportunity that while Officer Reed and the suspect were engaged with each other I'd have an opportunity to sneak in and retrieve the fireman.” Sgt. Hall said.
He grabbed his ballistics shield and ran to retrieve Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, who would later die.
“I realized that I couldn't help him and I was in a very bad position to begin with and that's when I retreated back to the vehicle and retrieved my weapon.” Sgt. Hall said. Reed had lost sight of Spengler, and Sgt. Hall retreated to help Firefighter Mike Chiapperini, a friend who used to call him "Kevie."
“Initially we were told he was hurt, and I remember just thinking … we would pull him out of there, we'd get him out of there. And at one point we finally realized that wasn't gonna happen and everything just kind of stopped for a minute. Because not only is it a fireman and a fellow officer, he's a friend.” Sgt. Hall told the TV station.
Firefighters Chiapperini was also killed.
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