A firefighter shot one colleague to death and severely wounded another at their Los Angeles County firehouse on Tuesday, before the suspect apparently took his own life outside his nearby home a short time later as his dwelling went up in flames, officials said.
The shooting erupted shortly before 11 a.m. local time at a fire station in the high desert community of Agua Dulce, about 45 miles north of Los Angeles, according to fire department and county sheriff’s department officials.
Authorities said they had yet to determine a possible motive. The suspected gunman was identified only as an off-duty fireman who had returned to the station for unknown reasons and then opened fire on his two co-workers there.
One victim, a 44-year-old fire engineer with more than 20 years on the department, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby told a news conference hours later.
The second victim, a 54-year-old fire captain, was listed in critical but stable condition at an area hospital where he underwent emergency surgery, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies sent to the suspect’s home shortly after the shooting found the house engulfed in flames. They also spotted the body of a man in a small pool outside the residence who appeared from a distance to have suffered a self-inflicted gunshot to the head and was believed to be the gunman, authorities said.
Sheriff’s officials said no gunshots were fired by law enforcement.
The suspect’s home in Acton, about 10 miles southeast of the fire station, was reduced to rubble by the fire, apparently set by the gunman after the shooting, authorities said.
“Today is truly a sad day and a tragic day for the Los Angeles County Fire Department,” Osby told reporters, calling the deadly outburst of workplace gun violence on his force “some of the worst news I’ve received in my career.”
© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.