Calif. city to pay $250K to man punched by firefighter after captain's killing

Officials said the incident was a case of mistaken identity in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of Long Beach Fire Capt. David Rosa


By Laura French

LONG BEACH, Calif. — A California city will pay $250,000 to settle a lawsuit with a man who was punched by a firefighter in a case of mistaken identity.

The incident occurred following the fatal shooting of Long Beach Fire Capt. David Rosa on June 25, 2018, by a resident who set off a homemade bomb at the Covenant Manor retirement home, according to the Long Beach Post. Another Covenant Manor resident who was not the shooter was at the hospital being treated for a gunshot wound when he was punched in the face by a firefighter who mistook him for Rosa's killer. 

The firefighter, who was on duty, had heard police say that the man was a suspect because he matched the physical description of the shooter. Another Covenant Manor resident, Thomas Kim, was ultimately identified as the shooter of both Rosa and the other resident, and was arrested. Kim later died from natural causes in jail. 

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office and Long Beach City Prosecutor's office declined to prosecute the firefighter. The city of Long Beach settled the lawsuit with the man who was punched in January, and Long Beach Deputy City Attorney Howard Russell confirmed the settlement amount last week.

Rosa was a 17-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department. Police said they believe Kim set off the explosion to lure firefighters to the retirement home. 

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