Two firefighters are dead after they were shot while at a house fire in Webster, N.Y., Monday morning.
The shooter may have set the fire as a trap to shoot the firefighters, Webster police Chief Gerald Pickering said at a press conference Monday morning, where he choked back tears in delivering the news of the deceased.
Four firefighters, in total, were shot. One firefighter was able to flee the scene in his own vehicle. He is in hospital.
A fifth off-duty firefighter from neighbouring Greece, N.Y., was injured by flying shrapnel.
The shooter, who has not yet been identified, is dead at the scene, officials said.
Webster said he did not know if he killed himself, but did not indicate the shooter was killed by authorities.
"The threat has been eliminated," he told reporters.
Investigators have evacuated the area and the fire has destroyed four homes and damaged four others.
The neighbourhood was evacuated of 33 people as firefighters battled the fire and police investigated the shootings.
Webster is about 20 km east of Rochester in upstate New York.