(WHAM News, 13-WHAM, & AP) - Thousands of police and firefighters paid respects to a volunteer firefighters and police lieutenant slain in a fiery Christmas Eve ambush on the shore of Lake Ontario.
The funeral of 43 year old Lt. Michael Chiapperini was held Sunday at Webster Schroeder High School, where Chiapperini was also a volunteer fireman for West Webster.
Chiapperini and fellow firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka were fatally shot by William Spengler early Monday morning when they arrived at a fire that Spengler had set at his lakeside home. Two other firefighters were wounded before Spengler killed himself.
A long line of police, firefighters, and state troopers, hats clutched across their chests, filed silently past Chiapperini's flag-draped casket in the high school auditorium before the service began.
More than 1,000 people attended a public reception at Webster Thomas High School following Lt. Mike Chiapperini’s funeral Sunday.
Friends, family members and first responders from across the country gathered Sunday afternoon for a meal donated by local businesses and organizations.
After a week of heartache, Webster residents say they’re proud of how they’ve come together and grateful for the support pouring in.
"Even through their deaths, they have brought community together, and community not just being Rochester or Webster, it is the state and beyond, and the world,” said Kim Corpus, a Webster resident. “To hear the other night that 62 countries had responded with their condolences, that takes the world from being this big thing to this small connection."
Kaczowka's funeral is on Monday at St. Stanislaus Church in Rochester.