The elaborate trap enacted by William Spengler on Christmas Eve — the one that ended with two firefighters dead and two more seriously injured in Webster, New York — just got even more elaborate. On Friday afternoon authorities in nearby Greece, New York, arrested 24-year-old Dawn Nguyen on charges of falsifying business records — there appears to be no record of her having transferred ownership of two of the guns police say she bought with Spengler in 2010 before he used them to surprise the Webster emergency responders. The new court documents reveal another part of Spengler's suicide note, in which he indicates that he purchased the guns he used from "his neighbor's daughter."
Nguyen's lawyer told the Democrat & Chronicle that Spengler stole the weapons from Nguyen, adding that his client "doesn't recall whether she reported the guns stolen." But officials, at a press conference late Friday, seemed to indicate that Spengler lied about who possessed two of the four weapons in question after they purchased them together. In response to the police investigation, Nguyen's mother left a voicemail for a D&C reporter:
“This is nuts,” she said in the recording. “I never supplied this man with nothing. My daughter never supplied him with anything. He’s setting us up.”
Police are charging Nguyen with "falsifying business records" and an unspecified "federal charge" — so while the case remains murky, it could anticipate another battle in the gun control debate over the disconcerting ease with which Spengler stole, and used, a gun he did not legally own.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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