At least two firefighters died and two more were wounded when they were shot while responding to a fire in a small town in upstate New York, media reports said.
The incident occurred at about 5:30 a.m. in Webster, outside Rochester, when an armed man opened fire in front of a burning building that the firefighters were trying to extinguish, the Daily News said.
The suspected gunman was found dead outside the building, according to Webster police chief Gerald Pickering in remarks to reporters collected by The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
A spokesman for the Monroe County sheriff's office did not rule out that the incident could have involved a second gunman and, at present, it is not known whether authorities have arrested anyone.
One of the two wounded firemen is recovering satisfactorily in a Rochester hospital but, for the moment, the condition of the other firefighter is not known, a hospital spokesman told CNN.
This latest shooting comes 10 days after the massacre carried out in Connecticut on Dec. 14 by 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who after killing his mother at their home went to an elementary school where he shot to death 20 children and six teachers and staff members before taking his own life as police closed in on him.
President Barack Obama promised to seek to prohibit the sale of military-style weapons and large ammunition clips in a video responding to a citizens' request that has collected hundreds of thousands of signatures on the White House Web page.
The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, last week said through its vice president, Wayne LaPierre, that gun control measures, like prohibiting assault weapons, will not prevent massacres like the one in Connecticut. EFE