Questions persist after an off-duty Los Angeles County firefighter shot and killed a colleague and wounded another.
The coroner’s office on Wednesday identified the firefighter who died as Tory Carlon, a 44-year-old fire specialist who drove the fire engine. He was shot several times in the upper torso, authorities said. Carlon had three daughters and had been with the department for more than 20 years.
Investigators identified the gunman in Tuesday's attack at the Agua Dulce Fire Station as 45-year-old fire specialist Jonathan Tatone. While the motive remains unknown, people who knew Carlon and the gunman say there was a known feud.
“Because of the stress that’s on the job, I can only see this kind of behavior continuing over time,” said an anonymous first responder.
U.S. & World
Preliminary interviews with other employees at Fire Station 81 indicate the shooter and Carlon had “some workplace beef,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean, who is overseeing the homicide investigation.
“It sounds like they didn’t like each other,” Dean told The Associated Press, without elaborating.
The other victim, identified as a 54-year-old captain who was once an LA deputy, is still hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
Hundreds turned out for a memorial for the victims on Wednesday evening. James Claude, an Agua Dulce resident, and his family left flowers Wednesday at Station 81.
“It was horrible, really horrible," Claude said. "Sad to hear. Lot of bad stuff going on right now. The least we can do is respect.”
There’s now a GoFundMe for Carlon’s wife and three young daughters.
“He has three daughters, I have three daughters," Brad Blesso, a Santa Rosa firefighter, said. "I can’t even imagine what they’re going through.”
Blesso is creating leather firefighter helmet shields in Carlon’s memory. He’ll raffle them off on Instagram with proceeds going to the GoFundMe.
“I’ve made many, many helmet shields for LA County Fire Department from a few custom orders to entire stations," he said.
Authorities say the gunman was off-duty when he went to the fire station and began shooting, authorities said. He then drove to his house in Acton and set it on fire.
As police swarmed the area, he was found dead in an empty pool. It’s believed he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, sheriff’s officials said. Investigators seized a handgun at the home.
“You don’t shoot somebody," Debbie Landress Anderson, a neighbor, said. "I mean I believe in guns. I don’t believe in doing that kind of retaliation. For whatever went on between the two of them. Which we’ll maybe never know.”
Detectives are questioning all Station 81 personnel and scouring the gunman's social media. Strangers extended grace to everyone touched by the violence.
“When the story yesterday a lot of us in the profession were heartbroken, devastated," Blesso said.
Fire Station 81 remains closed with security out front. Counseling is available for staff and other stations are covering their territory.
Flags were lowered to half staff throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday's shooting occurred less than a week after a gunman opened fire at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority bus and rail yard in San Jose, killing nine of his co-workers and then himself as law enforcement closed in. He had rigged his home to burn before heading to his longtime workplace.
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.