The city of Los Angeles is one of those places where a lot of people go to try and make their dreams come true. Musicians and actors flock there, but so do a lot of other people in a lot of other professions. The City of Angels probably should be called the City of Dreams. However, like anywhere else, they need men and women to protect them from all kinds of nastiness, which makes a fire station shooting even more troubling.
After all, firefighters aren’t hated these days like police officers, so you’d think they’d be almost immune to some of this stuff.
Yet it happened. A shooting at an L.A. fire station left one dead, one critically injured, and created a whole lot of questions left to be answered.
A firefighter was shot and killed and another was injured by an off-duty firefighter at a Los Angeles County Fire Department station in Agua Dulce Tuesday morning.
A body, believed to have been the shooter, was later found at a home that was on fire nearby.
The shooting took place at about 10:50 a.m. at LACFD Station No. 81 in the 8700 block of Sierra Highway.
“It is with heavy hearts that the LACoFD confirms that a tragic shooting occurred,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department tweeted.
It is with heavy hearts that the LACoFD confirms that a tragic shooting occurred at approximately 10:55 a.m. today at FS 81 in Agua Dulce. The Dept. is still in the process of gathering additional information & are cooperating with law enf. throughout this ongoing incident. (1/2)
— L.A. County Fire Department (@LACoFDPIO) June 1, 2021
During a 3 p.m. news conference, Fire Chief Daryl Osby said, “It is with a heavy heart that I stand here and say that one of our firefighter specialists succumbed to his injuries.” He said the shooting, “was some of the worst news that I’ve heard in my career.”
Osby confirmed that a 44-year-old male who had worked with the department for over 20 years was killed in the shooting. He said a 54-year-old fire captain sustained a gunshot wound and was in critical but stable condition after being airlifted to Henry Mayo Hospital in Valencia.
Tuesday night a vigil was held for the fallen firefighter in Acton, attended by his friends and family.
“When it comes to being a father when it comes to being a fireman, he taught me much about being a better father for my girls and being there,” said a friend.
Osby said the shooter was an off-duty firefighter who was not scheduled to work Tuesday. He said the shooter returned to his house, barricaded himself, set the home on fire and was later found deceased although the coroner had not yet confirmed the identity of the body found at the residence.
More than that, though, he set his house on fire.
A fire at the Acton home of an off-duty firefighter suspected of fatally shooting a firefighter and critically injuring another Tuesday morning was finally out late that afternoon.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the fire was reported at about 11:30 a.m., but since they did not immediately know what was inside, the bomb squad responded to the scene while ground crews and water-dropping aircraft worked for hours to put the blaze out.
As of right now, we don’t know a motive for the shooting and we may never know.
What we do know, though, is that California has the toughest gun control laws in the nation and has had its own red flag law for years. Clearly, all that worked just peachy, right?
The problem, however, appears to be that a firefighter was a broken person who lashed out at his fellow firefighters and there isn’t a law on Earth that would ever stop that from happening.
It’s not a gun problem, but a people problem, and until we can stop debating over the tools people are using and start focusing on the people, we’ll never be rid of horrible situations like this.