One victim, a 44-year-old fire engineer with more than 20 years on the department, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to his upper torso, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby told a news conference hours later.
The Daily Mailreported that following the shooting at the fire station, the yet-unnamed suspect allegedly drove to his home roughly ten miles away and set it ablaze.
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 fire raged, sheriff's crews spotted a man in the backyard of the home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
"The shooting happened in the late morning at Fire Station 81, about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, in the Agua Dulce area near Santa Clarita", Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Trina Schrader said. "I can say that it's very tragic and sad that that would be a decision point of one of the members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department". Fire crews made a water drop on the home in hopes of preventing flames from spreading to nearby brush or other structures, the station said. And I've always prayed we would never have a line of duty death. I never thought that if it occurred that it would occur in this fashion. "Neither of the two firefighters who were shot were immediately identified". 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.
LA County firefighters responded to the shooting in the 8700 block of Sierra Highway. Agua Dulce is a remote community of about 3,000 people in the desert of northern Los Angeles County known for its rock formations and panoramic views.
The incident comes almost a week after a mass shooting in San Jose, where a gunman killed nine employees of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.
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