PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

6/25/2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:062518B
Subject:
Murder of Long Beach Fire Captain
Contact:
For Fire Department related inquiries, please contact Firefighter/Paramedic/PIO Jake Heflin at (562) 760-6950.



For Police Department related inquiries, please contact Media Relations at (562) 570-5273 or lbpdmediarelations@longbeach.gov.



On June 25, 2018, at 3:49 a.m. the Long Beach Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at the 600 block of East 4th Street. There were supplemental calls reporting a fire and an explosion, and occupants reported a strong smell of gasoline in the area.

As fire units made their way to the reported location, fire crews noticed windows had been blown out on the 2nd floor of the building. The sprinkler system had been activated, and knock down of the fire occurred at 3:59 a.m.

At 4:08 a.m., there were reports of shots fired. Two Long Beach firefighters who were rushing in to save lives were unexpectedly struck by gunfire. They were both transported to a local trauma center. Captain David Rosa, a 17-year veteran of the Long Beach Fire Department, died in the line of duty from injuries he sustained in this incident. Captain Rosa is survived by his wife and two adult children. His last assignment was at Fire Station 10, which is located in Central Long Beach.

Captain Rosa’s body was escorted to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office with full honors. Firefighters and community members from our city and throughout the region turned out to show their support. The Fire Department’s focus remains on Captain Rosa’s family and supporting them through this very difficult time.

Firefighter Ernesto Torres was the second firefighter that was hit by gunfire. He was treated and later released, and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Long Beach Police Department is handling the criminal investigation and have released the following details:

Today, at approximately 4:00 a.m., patrol officers were dispatched to a multi-story residential complex in the 600 block of E. 4th Street to assist the Long Beach Fire Department with traffic control on a structure fire caused by a possible explosion.

During the incident, there were reports of an active shooter and information that two firefighters and a civilian had been shot. Patrol officers began searching for the shooter and SWAT was immediately activated to assist patrol officers in the search for the suspect.

Once on scene, SWAT also provided security for fire personnel as they conducted well checks of residents throughout the building.

After the shooting, two firefighters and a third victim were immediately transported to a local hospital.

The third victim, who is only being identified as an elderly male resident of the building, is still hospitalized and listed in critical but stable condition. 

A person of interest was initially detained at the scene and was transported to Police Headquarters for questioning, and was subsequently arrested. 

The suspect has been identified as 77-year-old Thomas Kim, who was also a resident of the building. He has been booked for murder, (2) counts of attempted murder, and arson, and is being held on $2,000,000 bail.

A handgun was also recovered at the scene.

The Los Angeles County Bomb Squad responded to the location after it was determined an explosion had occurred during the incident and two suspicious devices were found at the scene.  The bomb squad rendered the scene safe and flammable liquids, believed to be gasoline, were removed.

Residents of the building were evacuated and the City of Long Beach Departments of Health and Human Services and Parks, Recreation and Marine, in partnership with the Red Cross, established a shelter at Silverado Park. It is anticipated the majority of residents will be allowed to return to their homes today.

A response team from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office also responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.

Homicide detectives are actively investigating the incident and the motive is still under investigation.

Anyone with information of this incident is urged to call Homicide Detectives Malcolm Evans and Robert Gonzalez at (562) 570-5273. Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” app to your smart phone (available at the Apple App store and Google Play), or visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org.

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

For more information about the City of Long Beach, visit http://longbeach.gov/. Follow us on social to keep up with the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.