A Los Angeles County firefighter was killed and another suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a shooting at an Agua Dulce fire station Tuesday, and the suspect appeared to fatally shoot himself outside an Acton home as it burned to the ground.
According to the Los Angeles County Fire Department, “a tragic shooting” occurred at 10:55 a.m. at fire Station 81 in the 8700 block of Sierra Highway. Fire officials did not immediately provide details, although unconfirmed reports from the scene quickly indicated one person was killed in the shooting. A second victim, also believed to be a firefighter, was flown to Henry Mayo hospital in Newhall with multiple gunshot wounds and in unknown condition.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who chairs the Board of Supervisors, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that a firefighter had died in the shooting.
“My most sincerest condolences to the family of the firefighter who was tragically killed in today’s shooting at Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce,” Solis wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with our @LACOFD family. At my direction, flags will be flown half-staff at all County buildings.”
Authorities initially reported that the suspect had fled the scene in a white Toyota pickup. The search led to a home in the 2600 block of Bent Spur Drive in Acton, where a short time later a fire erupted.
Fire department crews were held back from attacking the house fire from the ground, with the suspect inside allegedly threatening to shoot anyone who approached the building.
As the fire burned and sheriff’s deputies amassed in the neighborhood, a man fitting the suspect’s description was spotted in the backyard of the home with what deputies in a hovering helicopter described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The body was seen in a seated, slumped-over position inside an apparently empty swimming pool.
While fire crews were unable to approach the burning home on the ground, a series of water drops were conducted from the air to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby brush or structures. The flames, however, gutted the entirety of the sprawling home.
As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, authorities had not yet confirmed that the person seen in the home’s backyard was the suspect. Nor were any details about the suspect immediately released.
The Los Angeles Times, citing property records, reported that the home on Bent Spur Drive was owned by a veteran L.A. County firefighter — raising the possibility the shooting may have been workplace-related.
As the home continued to smolder, a bomb squad arrived at the scene.
County law enforcement, fire and elected officials were expected to release details during a 3 p.m. news conference at another fire station.
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