SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (CN) — A gunman shot two firefighters at a Los Angeles County fire station Tuesday morning, killing one before barricading himself in a burning home.
One 44-year-old firefighter was struck multiple times and died at the scene, while a 54-year-old fire captain is in critical condition at a local hospital. The gunman worked as a firefighter at the same station, but investigators are still working on determining a motive for the shooting.
The incident occurred at Fire Station 81 in the Agua Dulce community in north LA County just before 11 a.m., according to the LA County Fire Department.
Following the shooting the gunman fled the fire station to a home in the unincorporated community of Acton east of Agua Dulce. Witnesses at the fire station provided police with the name of the suspect and the make of his vehicle. LA County Sheriff’s deputies surrounded the home and around the same time the house caught fire.
While the house burned, officers found a man in a pool outside the home with a gunshot wound to the head. Officials said they could not confirm if this was the shooter because the home, an active crime scene, is still on fire, but deputies did not fire their guns during the incident.
The firefighter killed on Tuesday was a 20-year veteran with the LA County Fire Department.
“This morning when I received the news, it was some of the worst news I have ever received in my career,” LA County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby said, his voice cracking during an afternoon press conference. “You can imagine the proximity to today’s events is very numbing.”
Emergency officials have not released the names of the victims or the gunman. The shooting and the fire remains under investigation.
“It is with heavy hearts that that the [LA County Fire Department] confirms that a tragic shooting occurred at approximately 10:55 a.m. today at FS 81 in Agua Dulce,” the fire agency said on Twitter. Emergency personnel airlifted the injured firefighter to a hospital with unknown injuries.