The man charged with fatally shooting a Long Beach Fire Department captain at a senior-living home allegedly told police he began firing because he got scared, it was reported Thursday.
According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Daily Breeze, Thomas Man Kim, 77, allegedly told investigators “there was an explosion in his room earlier” and “admitted to officers he has a revolver, and he got scared and started shooting.”
Kim is set to be arraigned July 16 on capital murder and other counts stemming from the June 25 killing of Fire Capt. Dave Rosa, who was responding to a report of an explosion at the Covenant Manor senior living facility.
Rosa died at a hospital. Another firefighter, Ernesto Torres, and a civilian who lived in the building also were wounded, but survived.
Los Angeles County prosecutors will determine later whether to seek the death penalty for Kim.
The affidavit alleges that Kim had burnt hair and clothing when police discovered him while responding to the 11-story complex, according to the Daily Breeze.
Prosecutors contend Kim set off an explosive device in his apartment in an effort to kill a female neighbor who lived above him and with whom he had been feuding. Police said a note that was drafted by Kim led investigators to believe the blast was a murder/suicide attempt.
A preliminary investigation led police to believe the fire was set as a result of the dispute between Kim and his neighbor, not to draw first responders to the location to ambush them, according to a statement released by the Long Beach Police Department.
Thousands of mourners gathered Tuesday at the Long Beach Convention Center for a memorial service for Rosa, a 17-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department and married father of two sons.
Rosa’s oldest son, Alec, told the crowd gathered at the service that the news of his father’s killing had left him “in shock.”
“My dad’s a fireman. Firemen aren’t supposed to get shot,” he said.
The Long Beach Fire Department announced last week that a fund has been established for Rosa’s family. Information about the fund is available at www.friendsoflbfire.org/police-fire-memorial.