A Los Angeles County, California firefighter is suspected of shooting two of his colleagues, one of them fatally. Police surrounded the suspect at a rural home that subsequently caught fire and burned to the ground.
The incident took place on Tuesday morning at Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce, a rural community north of downtown Los Angeles.
“The shooter was an off-duty firefighter who came to the fire station,” LACFD Chief Daryl Osby told reporters. He shot a 44-year old male colleague, and wounded a 54-year-old fire captain. Osby did not identify any of them by name.
We respectfully ask that anyone posting information about this incident please refrain from posting any staging locations for personnel due to safety reasons and station identifiers due to next of kin notifications.
— LACoFD Incident Alerts (@lacfd) June 1, 2021
Local media captured the moment the injured captain was airlifted to the hospital.
BREAKING: Shooting reported at an @LACOFD station in #AguaDulce. We have very little information right now. Our @NBCLA team is on their way to get you the latest on this fluid situation. pic.twitter.com/qnxO4rMlAv
— Katherine Picazo (@PicazoKatherine) June 1, 2021
Police followed the suspect to his home in Acton, a community about 10 miles away – a house designed by a notable area architect and rented out last year.
The shooter “barricaded himself” at the house, Osby said. The home “was set on fire, and he was also found deceased.”
#UPDATE: The 3,765-square-foot Acton home linked to this morning's shooting at an LA County Fire station in Agua Dulce was designed by the late Bel Air architect, Martin Gelber. https://t.co/mnc2aS3ERR pic.twitter.com/Pn6Bt55Y2H
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) June 1, 2021
As law enforcement officers surrounded the property and SWAT personnel were airdropped to the location, the home caught fire.
— SEB (@SEBLASD) June 1, 2021
Firefighters could not approach the house over fears for their safety. The property eventually burned down completely. News helicopters spotted a body floating in the indoor lap pool, which is believed to belong to the yet-unnamed suspect.
Lieutenant Brandon Dean, homicide investigator with the sheriff’s department, said the suspect’s body was observed in the ruins of the still-burning house with a gunshot wound to the head that “appears to be self-inflicted,” as no deputies fired their weapons. Dean confirmed that the suspect was identified as a firefighter who worked at Fire Station 81.
The motive of the shooting has yet to be determined, said Dean. Local media have cited unnamed police sources to report the suspect and the victim had got into a dispute.
Agua Dulce and Acton are small communities in Los Angeles county, about 30 miles north of downtown LA, between Santa Clarita and Palmdale.
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This is the second fatal incident involving a disgruntled employee in California in the span of a week. Last Wednesday, a former employee of the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) in San Jose shot and killed 8 former co-workers.
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