Rapid Response: Fatal shooting shows growing potential for violence on the fireground

A Long Beach Fire Department (Calif.) fire captain was killed and another firefighter and civilian were injured in a shooting

Every emergency response by firefighters and other public safety personnel is always a venture into the unknown. Read more about how how firefighter shootings are not common and cannot be treated as such, as well as scene security considerations from this incident that has left the fire service asking “why?” in analysis from our industry experts.

On June 25, 2018, a Long Beach (Calif.) Fire Department captain was killed, and a firefighter was wounded when an unknown assailant shot them as they searched for the source of an explosion at a local retirement community. The fire captain, a veteran of the department with 17 years on the job, was transported to a local hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds.

The wounded firefighter was also transported to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition. A third victim, a civilian, was also being treated at the hospital and was expected to survive according to a Long Beach Police Department spokesperson as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

What happened: Members of the Long Beach Fire Department responded to a reported explosion and fire at Covenant Manor, an 11-story high-rise for senior living in the downtown area of Long Beach at 3:49 a.m., PST. The incident was initially reported to authorities as some type of explosion at Covenant Manor.

The first report from the scene stated that some windows were blown out and building occupants were reporting the smell of gasoline. After extinguishing the remaining fire, fire crews were investigating to determine the source of the smell when the fire captain and firefighter were shot at approximately 4:08 a.m., PST.

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