A Santa Clarita firefighter allegedly killed a colleague and left another injured at their small fire station, before setting his own home on flames and killing himself. The suspect was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his house, which had burned down according to the police.
However, the identity of the suspect is yet to be confirmed. The investigators have been unable to make a solid conclusion because the house is still burning. Once the fire has settled down, the rescue team will enter the crime scene to identify the person involved in the incident.
The gunshot was reported at 10:53 a.m. local time at Los Angeles County Fire Station 81 in Aguila Dulce, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department stated. Police officials immediately reported to the scene where the Santa Clarita firefighter had shot down two of his colleagues.
The officers found a fire department specialist dead at the scene. He is described as a man of over 40 years of age, with over 20 years of experience in the fire department. A second victim, who was identified as a 54-year-old captain, was found severely injured by the gunshot.
Daryl Osby, the LA County Fire Department Chief said the injured captain was airlifted to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital where he was taken into surgery. The captain was noted to be in a critical but stable condition, Osby said.
At a news conference, Osby spoke about the various challenges involved in her job, which included witnessing deaths and a round of injuries amongst her people. “As a fire chief, I’ve dealt with a lot of deaths and a lot of fallen members of my department. I always prayed we would never have a line of duty death and if it occurred, it would occur in this fashion,” said a desolate Osby.
The firehouse department gave a vivid description of the suspect, a Santa Clarita firefighter who shot two of his co colleagues before getting away in his vehicle, said Lt. Brandon Dean of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Osby did not provide any details about the suspect, apart from referring to him as a specialist assigned to the firehouse who wasn’t supposed to come in on Tuesday.
As soon as the officers made their way to the suspect’s home, it was ablaze and the suspect was found dead in the backside of the property with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, noted Lt. Dean. A fire helicopter made several attempts to a water drop on the home, but the fire had already spread far and wide.
Osby said he never thought his firefighters would feel unsafe and threatened inside their own “safe house.” He declared that all department members would be given a counselor to help them deal with the mental trauma of witnessing such an incident.
The investigation is still underway. Till now, the police and experts have been unable to determine a motive behind the crime.