Police Make Arrest In Firefighter Ambush Case

Did Dawn Nguyen knowingly or unknowingly supply William Spengler Jr. with the guns he used in his shooting spree?

A woman, suspected in connection to the ambush that left two firefighters dead and two others wounded on Christmas Eve in upstate New York was arrested Friday afternoon. 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen was apprehended at the home where she was staying with her mother Dawn Welsher in Greece, New York, by a task force consisting of the New York State Police, the Webster Police, and the ATF. USA Today reports,

[Nguyen] was arrested Friday in connection with two of the firearms used in the Christmas Eve shooting of four volunteer firefighters … Senior Investigator James Newell of the state police said Nguyen was charged with offering a false instrument for filing. He also said a federal charge is pending, though he did not specify.

Both Nguyen’s brother and her attorney Dave Palimere have said the guns in question were stolen from the trunk of her car while it was parked in the family’s driveway several years ago. Palimere said,

She purchased the weapons legally, and they were stolen … the charges are related to the .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle and a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun, not the handgun that was also in Spengler’s possession … [She] doesn’t recall whether she reported the guns stolen.

Dawn Welsher, Nguyen’s mother was questioned by police on Monday, the day of the ambush, but was released after speaking with investigators. She left a voice message for a Democrat and Chronicle reporter in which she said,

This is nuts. I never supplied this man with nothing. My daughter never supplied him with anything. He’s setting us up.

Welsher and her children were neighbors of the 62-year-old man William Spengler Jr. who set his house on fire and waited in ambush for first responders early Monday morning. The authorities have been investigating how he came to be in possession of the weapons he used to kill two firefighters and wound two others, as well as an off duty police officer.

UPDATE: The Guardian reports Dawn Nguyen is being charged with ‘knowingly making a false statement for signing a form indicating she would be the legal owner of the guns.’ Nguyen purchased the semi-automatic rifle and shotgun for the man responsible for the ambush of first responders on Christmas Eve. Spengler picked out the guns himself and then took Nguyen to the sporting goods store to purchase them for him, even though she was aware that he was a felon and was not allowed to have them.


Photo: AP/File

About Kathryn DeHoyos

Kathryn DeHoyos currently resides on the outskirts of Austin, TX. She has 2 beautiful children, and is very happily un-married to her life partner DJ.


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    You have to arrest somebody. The perp is dead, so Nguyen will have to do. The wrath of the righteous will be turned on her, facts be damned.
    I’d like to arrest and incarcerate the moron DA who allowed Spengler to plead what was clearly first degree murder down to manslaughter, allowing him out to do what he likes, kill people.

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