Firefighter Responding to Retirement Home Explosion Shot, Killed

LONG BEACH, Calif. (CN) – Firefighters responding to reports of an explosion at a retirement community in Los Angeles County early Monday came under gunfire which fatally wounded one firefighter and led to the bomb squad being called to examine a suspicious device at the scene.

Police arrested Thomas Kim, 77, a resident of the apartment complex. He faces charges of murder, two counts of attempted murder, arson and is being held on $10 million bail, according to Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna.

A revolver was recovered from the scene, along with two suspicious devices that were rendered safe by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad.

It’s not clear if Kim set off an explosion to lure firefighters into the building. Residents said they smelled gasoline just after they heard an explosion shortly before 4 a.m. Monday.

Several windows were blown out in one apartment unit when firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Long Beach Fire Chief Mike Duree.

He said Cpt. David Rosa, 45, was shot and killed around 4 a.m. after firefighters put out a fire in the building.

A second firefighter shot is in stable condition at a local hospital. A civilian who was also shot is in critical condition, according to Duree.

“There’s a lot more that I don’t know right now,” Luna said. “There’s a big puzzle to put together.”

Eighty senior citizens, residents of the apartment complex in Long Beach south of Los Angeles, were evacuated this morning and are receiving care at a nearby facility.

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