The California firefighter fatally shot by a colleague was mired in an ongoing dispute with the shooter, according to reports.
Los Angeles County Firefighter Tory Carlon, 44, was gunned down Tuesday at a fire station in Agua Dulce before the gunman — a fellow smoke-eater — drove back to his home and apparently took his own life, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A fire captain was also critically wounded in the shooting.
A motive for California’s second fatal workplace shooting in less than a week wasn’t immediately released, but sources close to the matter told the newspaper Carlon and the shooter were involved in an ongoing dispute about how the station was operated and maintained.
Carlon and the gunman, who apparently shot himself in a pool at his home in Acton, had previously argued about various issues at the station prior to the Tuesday morning shooting. They worked different shifts, but reportedly lived in the same area.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Daryl Osby told the Times that Station 81 in Agua Dulce outside Santa Clarita is known as a “small, hometown-type” firehouse where he had previously worked himself.
“Generally speaking, the people on that shift would have a good working relationship,” Osby told the newspaper. “Obviously something went wrong with that relationship today.”
Hundreds of mourners attended a vigil late Tuesday in Acton for Carlon and the 54-year-old fire captain wounded in the attack, CBS Los Angeles reported.
Carlon, a 20-year department veteran, was remembered by a friend as a doting father to three daughters.
“When it comes to being a father, when it comes to being a fireman, when it comes to being a mentor, there was nobody that could parallel that,” Carlon’s friend said. “He taught me much about being a better father for my girls and being there.”
Carlon’s father, Larry, wrote on Facebook that his son, a firefighter specialist, was killed by a “crazed” fire department worker.
“His family will never be able to replace him, and we enjoyed his life of 44 years,” Larry Carlon wrote. “May he RIP forever in Gods hands.”
Osby, meanwhile, remembered the fallen smoke-eater as one of the department’s “better firefighters,” saying his tragic death was a “true loss,” the Times reported.
The firefighter gunman was off-duty Tuesday and drove to the station before using his gun. He then barricaded himself in his home, which he set on fire. Property records obtained by the Associated Press indicate that the home was owned by Jonathan Tatone, who was listed as a county firefighter since at least 2012.
“It’s sounds like they didn’t like each other,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean told the Associated Press, without elaborating.
The fire captain who was shot multiple times remained in critical condition early Wednesday, the Times reported. He’s expected to survive, Dean said Wednesday.
With Post wires