Long Beach Fire Department

Suspect Who Allegedly Shot and Killed Long Beach Firefighter Charged with Capital Murder

June 25, 2018 - 8:05 am

LONG BEACH (CNS/ KNX 1070) - A 77-year-old man who allegedly shot and killed a Long Beach Fire Department captain and wounded a second firefighter and a third person at a local senior living residence has been charged with capital murder and other counts.

No date has been set yet for Thomas Kim to answer to the charges.  He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Police said he was a resident of the senior housing facility. A revolver was recovered at the scene. He's being held on $2 million bond. Police say Kim had a previous arrest years ago for auto theft.

His brother, who lives in Reseda, says he hasn't seen Kim in almost 30 years and had no idea he was in Long Beach. He says his brother had a gambling problem.

Mourners gathered Monday night for a candlelight vigil at Long Beach Fire Station Ten near Fourteenth Street and Alamitos Avenue to honor Dave Rosa, 45.

He died after firefighters responded to an explosion at a high-rise Long Beach apartment building Monday. Firefighters were met by gunfire, and two of them were wounded, authorities said. City officials joined community members who filled the street outside the station and lit candles some singing "Amazing Grace" as they tried to understand why.

A 17-year veteran of the department, Rosa died while responding to the fire, according to the LBFD in a press conference Monday morning. A procession of fire trucks and police vehicles made its way up the 710 Freeway carrying his body Monday.

Rosa was rushing into the building when he was shot.  A second firefighter was also wounded but has been treated and released. A third person, believed to be a resident of the home, suffered serious injuries.

Kim was arrested in the shooting and booked for murder, two counts of attempted murder and arson.

In a statement, Governor Brown says he's deeply saddened by Captain Rosa's death, saying "our deepest condolences go out to Captain Rosa’s family, friends, and the entire Long Beach Fire Department as they mourn his tragic death.”

Flags at the capitol will be flown at half-staff.

KNX reporter Pete Demetriou reported from the hospital:

The firefighters had been sent to Covenant Manor, an 11-story building serving low-income seniors in the 600 block of East Fourth Street, about 3:50 a.m. in response to a report of a possible explosion, according to the Long Beach Fire Department. A fire alarm had been set off, and the sprinkler system had been activated the LBFD reported.

Residents were evacuated from the building as a precaution and were being stopped from returning as an investigation was being carried out.