Nursing Home Resident May Have Set Trap for Firefighters

Long Beach fire captain is fatally shot, and 77-year-old suspect is in jail
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
Updated Jun 26, 2018 6:21 AM CDT
Nursing Home Resident May Have Set Trap for Firefighters
Firefighters stand near a photo of slain fire Capt. David Rosa at a news conference, Monday, June 25, 2018, in Long Beach, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A firefighter in Long Beach, Calif., was killed in the line of duty on Monday, and the circumstances are especially jarring: Authorities suspect that a 77-year-old resident of a nursing home deliberately set off an explosion, then waited for firefighters to arrive so he could shoot them, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Thomas Kim, a resident of the 11-story building, is jailed on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, and arson. Police say he killed veteran fire Capt. Dave Rosa, 45, and wounded 35-year-old firefighter Ernesto Torres, who was expected to make a full recovery. A resident of the home also was shot and is in critical condition. “We’re frustrated that there’s a large puzzle we’re trying to put together, and a lot of information we don’t know yet,” says Police Chief Robert Luna.

Police have not speculated about a motive, and Kim "hasn't given us much of an explanation," says another police official, per the Los Angeles Times. Firefighters arrived at Covenant Manor about 4am Monday after getting a report about an explosion, reports the AP. They discovered blown-out windows on the second floor and extinguished a fire, and were searching the building when gunfire broke out. Authorities later recovered a revolver from the scene, and found two suspicious devices in Kim's apartment as well as what is believed to be gasoline. An ambush? "That is definitely on the table," says Luna. "These brave firefighters went through those doors and, unfortunately, they were met with gunfire." (More firefighters stories.)

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