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Monday, June 25, 2018|5:24 p.m.
LONG BEACH, Calif.– A retirement community resident shot at firemens who responded to a report of an explosion at the Southern California center on Monday, eliminating a veteran fire captain and leaving a 2nd firemen and another resident wounded, authorities said.
Detectives think based on a preliminary investigation that the man, Thomas Kim, had actually set a fire early Monday morning to draw first responders to his second-floor apartment at the retirement home in Long Beach, south of Los Angeles, then opened fire, Authorities Chief Robert Luna said.
Kim, 77, was detained on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson. Detectives were still working to figure out Kim’s intention, Luna said. It was not immediately known if he has a lawyer.
The shooting occurred quickly after firefighters came to the 11-story retirement facility around 4 a.m. and discovered some windows blown out, activated sprinklers, the smell of gas and a fire that they extinguished, authorities stated. Firefighters were searching the structure when shots called out and the two firefighters were hit, Long Beach Fire Chief Michael DuRee said.
Fire Capt. Dave Rosa, who had actually worked for the department for 17 years, died at a medical facility Monday early morning, DuRee stated. He is endured by a spouse and two children– ages 16 and 25, the chief said.
The other firefighter, Ernesto Torres, was anticipated to make a complete healing, DuRee said.
A senior local at the retirement home was likewise shot and remained in crucial however stable condition, stated Police Chief Robert Luna. The particular situations of how the resident was shot were not immediately understood.
” Long Beach lost a hero today,” Mayor Robert Garcia stated.
Eighty elderly people remained evacuated from the retirement home Monday afternoon and were being used health services and counseling at a regional recreation center, the mayor said.
Dozens of firemens stood at attention and saluted as the flag-draped casket carrying Rosa’s body was highlighted of a hospital Monday afternoon and packed into a coroner’s van. Community members waved American flags along the street outside the medical facility as the procession of authorities and fire lorries accompanied the van to the coroner’s office.
Luna said a revolver was recovered after Kim was apprehended Monday morning. He had a previous arrest for automobile theft, the chief said.
” There’s still is a large puzzle we’re trying to put together. There’s still a lot of info we have no idea,” he said.
Detectives also discovered 2 “suspicious devices” when they jailed Kim and called the bomb squad to “render those safe,” Luna stated.
Investigators still have “a great deal of questions about the gadgets that were discovered and the suspect’s intent,” Luna stated.
” That’s the environment we operate in today, as law enforcement and firemens. You go to these scenes and you never understand what’s on the other side of those doors. And these brave firefighters went through those doors and regrettably they were consulted with shooting,” Luna said previously Monday.
Pamela Barr, who lives in the structure, said she was awakened by smoke alarm and didn’t panic because false alarms are not uncommon. She aimed to return to sleep but then learned what was taking place by seeing TELEVISION news. Firemens later on evacuated the building and put locals on buses.
” This is a lot to deal with,” said Barr, 73, as she sat with her boy in a vehicle, waiting to be enabled back in the tower, where she lives on the ninth floor on the opposite end of the building from where the fire occurred.
Barr stated she had not heard of any difficulties involving citizens of the center, where she has actually lived for 7 years. She described it as clean, well run and secure.
Gloria Ford, 58, who lives a few blocks away, was awakened by shrieking sirens earlier and pertained to check out the scene.
” I’m extremely sorry about it. I’m sick about it,” she said about the death of the firemen. “It’s simply mad.”
The domestic tower near downtown Long Beach has 100 homes for low-income people age 62 and older as well as disabled grownups over age 18, inning accordance with its site.
Long Beach is a major port city with a population of more than 400,000.
Balsamo reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press author John Antczak in Los Angeles contributed to this report.