A firefighter allegedly killed a co-worker and wounded another in their small fire station before setting his own house on fire and allegedly killing himself in California’s second deadly shooting within days, authorities said.
The alleged gunman, a firefighter specialist and engineer, was on duty when he apparently drove 16 miles from his home in Acton, north of Los Angeles, and opened fire on 81 Los Angeles County Fire Station Tuesday morning. to authorities.
The alleged killer “would not work today. “He came back and confronted the service,” a visibly shaken fire chief, Daryl Osby, told reporters. “I can not speak to the attitude of the shooter.”
The chief also said he did not know of any disciplinary action involving the alleged armed man, which was not immediately identified.
A 44-year-old fire specialist who was driving a fire truck was shot several times in the upper body and died. The father of three daughters has been with the department for more than 20 years, Osby said.
A 54-year-old firefighter who was also shot in the upper body was operated on and in a hospital in a critical but stable condition.
The suspected gunman then returned to his home, which authorities said was engulfed in flames. He was later found dead in an empty pool of a seemingly self-inflicted shooter, as no one else was at home and deputies did not set fire, the sheriff said.
Helicopters fought the fire because it was considered unsafe to send firefighters into the house, which burned for hours. A SWAT team and a bomb squad were dispatched before firefighters were finally allowed to use snakes on the ruins.
The fire station is in Agua Dulce, a rural community of approximately 3,000 people in the desert of northern Los Angeles County known for its rock formations and panoramic views.
Osby said the station has only four firefighters per shift and is considered a home by workers who usually work there 24 hours at a time.
“As a fire chief, I never thought that when our firefighters were in danger, that they would be in danger in one of our fire stations in the community,” Osby said.
Provincial supervisor Janice Hahn said firefighters endanger their lives on a daily basis.
“Between emergency calls, the fire station must have felt like a safe haven,” she said. “Unfortunately, the sense of security has now been broken.”
The shooting happened less than a week after a longtime gunman opened fire on the Santa Clara Valley bus and railroad yard in San Jose, killing nine people and then locking himself up as law enforcement. burn down before going to his workplace.
According to experts, 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy sometimes had a short fuse and years of resentment against his work, but the exact motive for the shooting is still being investigated. Footage of the body of a Santa Clara province deputy sheriff who went into a building when shots were fired was released Tuesday.
A new FBI report finds that California has had the most mass shootings in the past 20 years, a figure consistent with its status as the country with the largest population, with nearly 40 million inhabitants.
By Stefanie Dazio