West Webster firefighters walk with the casket of fellow firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka following his Dec. 31 funeral Mass at St. Stanislaus Church in Rochester, N.Y. Volunteer firefighters Kaczowka, 19, and Michael Chiapperini, 43, were shot to death Dec. 24 after being lured to a blaze in Webster that New York State Police said was set by William Spengler Jr.
Catholic News Service
Christmas Masses in the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., took on a somber tone as parishioners mourned two volunteer firefighters fatally shot while responding to a fire in a lakeshore community outside of town.
Firefighters Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, died after being lured to a blaze that New York State Police said was set by the gunman.
Two other firefighters were injured in the ambush.
Many at St. Rita Parish in Webster were touched by the tragedy. Kaczowka occasionally attended Mass at St. Rita when he was unable to make it to his home parish of St. Stanislaus, where he had been active with the Polish community and had been an altar server, staff members of both parishes said.