Firefighters Shot, One Killed, While Responding To Fire

Fire Captain Dave Rosa was murdered while responding to a call at the Covenant Manor retirement home in Long Beach, California.

From CNN:

The shooting happened around 4 a.m. Monday when the fire department responded to reports that occupants of a senior living facility smelled gas. As the fire units neared the scene, they noticed that windows were blown out near a unit and the sprinkler system was in operation.  Fire units said they knocked down the initial fire, but minutes later, they received reports of shots fired, authorities said.

The shots were made by Thomas Kim, a 77-year-old resident of the eleven story retirement home.  Police report they believe he set the fire that caused the initial explosion, and used the blaze as a lure to target firefighters.  He was arrested on suspicion of murder, arson, and two counts of attempted murder.  He is being held on $2 million bail.  Kim has a prior criminal record, but a comparatively small one; one arrest in the past for auto theft.

Motive has as yet not been determined.  From the Long Beach Press-Telegram:

Thomas Kim’s only major vice is gambling and that cost him his marriage several years ago, according to his brother.

“His wife left him because he gambled,” George Kim, who hasn’t spoken to his brother in nearly 30 years, said. “That is the only thing that is a bad habit.” Thomas Kim and his ex-wife, who is a nurse, have one daughter.

“I don’t know what it will be like to see him. I haven’t seen him in almost 30 years,” he said. “I thought he was dead. I’m going to find out what happened to him.”

Police recovered a revolver, two “suspicious” devices and gasoline at the scene.

There were three direct victims of the violence: Fire Captain Dave Rosa, who died from gunshot injuries sustained at the scene; Ernesto Torres, who suffered a graze wound and was discharged from the local hospital following treatment; and an undisclosed resident of the nursing home.  Police have not yet determined the circumstances surrounding the third shooting, but they have reported that he is in critical yet stable condition. (National Post)

Fire Captain Rosa is survived by a wife and two children.

Anyone wishing to follow up on this story is encouraged to monitor the Long Beach Police Department for their official report.

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About AlienMotives 1992 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.