Officer Responding to Webster Ambush Says Instinct Guided Him to Fire Back
For the first time, we are hearing from the Webster police officer who grabbed his gun and returned fire during the Christmas Eve tragedy in West Webster.
Officer Mark Reed received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Webster Rotary Club Thursday night. On Christmas Eve, Reed returned fire at the gunman who lured firefighters to his Lake Road home by setting it ablaze.
Reed is credited with saving countless lives.
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"It's tough. You know, people are down, not moving, people screaming; trying to process everything, hearing it all, seeing it all. You know what you're seeing is evil."
When Officer Mark Reed got out of his police car on Lake Road, it wasn't supposed to end this way.
"What was in my head going there was, maybe put the fire out before they get there, and unfortunately it wasn't something I thought would happen, that happened."
As a roaring fire destroyed a car and house, confusion quickly set in.
"Started hearing the pops, which I thought were the tires blowing up. Five pops went by, and something didn't seem right, and I'm thinking windows are blowing up, maybe. Ran back to my car, grabbed my patrol rifle. I'm walking back up, still not processing what's going on, that's when I caught the muzzle flash and the outline of a dark figure up on the bank."
Officer Mark Reed had never before fired his service weapon on the job.
"You know, I guess my training kicked in. I was not thinking. I had to... do my job and return fire."
Investigators now say Officer Reed's gunfire thwarted William Spengler's attempts to kill more first responders. He then took off, and was later found dead of a self-inflicted bullet wound.
And Reed is crowned a hero, a title he'll never be comfortable with.
"I don't like being recognized for doing my job. You know, it's humbling. It makes me uncomfortable, the 'hero' term, I guess. You know, I think anyone would have done the same thing, in my position."
Officer Reed's actions were undoubtedly heroic that night. At his award presentation Thursday night, numerous members of the Webster Rotary club said they're just glad to have guys like Officer Mark Reed keeping them safe.