A shooter opened fire on two firefighters, fatally wounding one, Monday morning as they responded to an explosion and fire at a Long Beach senior home.
Capt. David Rosa, 45, was killed in what colleagues called a sad day for the city. The 17-year department member is survived by a wife and two children.
“It hits home. We just show up to do our job,” said Long Beach Police Sgt. Brad Johnson. “Firefighters, they deal with fire. They don’t deal with bullets. It’s a sad day in Long Beach’s history.”
A resident struck by gunfire was hospitalized in critical condition.
A second firefighter who suffered non-life-threatening injuries was released from a hospital late Monday morning. He was identified as 35-year-old Ernesto Torres, also part of Long Beach Fire Station No. 10.
Police said the suspected shooter who opened fire inside the 11-story building is in custody. Investigators said they are attempting to determine whether the shooting was an ambush.
The shooting was reported at a high-rise building in the 600 block of East 4th Street after authorities responded to reports of an explosion and fire. The Covenant House, which is in the area of Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Street, was surrounded by police and fire department vehicles early Monday as evacuated residents waited outside.
Details about the explosion were not immediately available.
“There was a lot of commotion,” said witness Dan Rafferty, whose video captured SWAT officers and firefighters helping residents and at least one firefighter out of the residence.
Rafferty said he saw the shooter with a gun in his hand as resident evacuated. The gunman a resident at the complex, he said.