It was a Christmas tragedy that has since haunted the Webster, N.Y. community.
On Christmas Eve in 2012, a gunman named William Spengler stormed into the West Webster firehouse and went on a shooting spree.
The 63-year-old injured firefighters Ted Scardino and Joseph Hofstetter and killed firefighters Mike Chiapperini and Tomasz Kaczowka.
A body found at Spengler’s home was later identified as belonging to his 67-year-old sister Cheryl.
The man eventually took his own life on a Lake Ontario beach, leaving no hope of direct justice for the pain caused on that awful morning.
State and federal prosecutors instead turned toward the next best possible action.
— News 8 – WROC-TV (@News_8) September 17, 2014
Dawn Nguyen was arrested and charged for the role she played in allowing Spengler access to the firearms used to kill the firefighters, his sister, and then himself.
According to prosecutors, the 25-year-old lied on paperwork that she filled out when purchasing weapons for Spengler, who as a convicted felon was not permitted by law to own those weapons at all.
Spengler had previously served jail time for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer. It was a crime for which the man had served 17 years in prison.
Nguyen pleaded guilty to federal charges in June; she had already been convicted at the state level in April.
— Rochester D and C (@DandC) April 15, 2014
Her defense attorney claimed that Nguyen bought the weapons in 2010, but had no idea how Spengler intended to use them.
Judge David Larimer informed her that she “gave [Spengler] the instruments of death” he would use on himself and five others. The weapons purchased and used include a semi automatic rifle and shotgun.
— Scott Patterson (@ScottTWCNews) September 17, 2014
Nguyen apologized in open court on Wednesday ahead of her sentencing. She turned to the surviving firefighters who were in attendance and shared that she took full responsibility for her actions.
She added that her choices would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Nguyen was sentenced to eight years by Larimer on federal charges. The federal sentence will run concurrently with the one and a half year sentence already handed down by the state of New York.