Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – A Webster police officer who has been called a hero for the role he played in helping curb a gunman’s deadly attack on firefighters responding to a fire was born and raised in Central New York.
Police say William Spengler Jr., who shot four firefighters and killed two, could have killed many more people if Mark Reed hadn’t shot back the morning of Christmas Eve.
Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering lauded Reed’s valor during the incident on Lake Road in the eastern Rochester suburb.
Reed’s law-enforcement career began in Madison County.
When news of the incident in Webster spread, friends and former colleagues at the Oneida Police Department were anxious to hear that Reed was safe.
"He had some contact with one of our officers here later on...At first it was hard, but he's doing okay,” said Oneida Police Chief David Meeker.
A graduate of Morrisville-Eaton High School, Reed started as an officer in Cazenovia. His career took him to the Oneida Police Department in 2008. He remained in Oneida for a little over a year.
"Never called in sick, never complained, very dedicated police officer,” Meeker said.
During his time with the Oneida Police Department, Reed received an award of commendation for a larceny case that led to a chase and eventual arrest of the suspect.
The dedication that Reed displayed in Oneida has remained. His father says that he is “incredibly proud of his son.”
On Tuesday, Reed, who has remained quiet after the ordeal on Lake Road in Webster, released a statement.
"This is the profession I have chosen, like many other police officers in Monroe County and the tens of thousands nationwide. Our job is dangerous and we do our best to protect the people in the jurisdictions we patrol. I thank god I was there that morning of Dec. 24, 2012, and that I had the tools to engage the suspect. Please continue to pray for all the families affected by this tragedy."
The Cazenovia Police chief also had an opportunity to work with Reed. He called Reed an excellent officer.