Jonathan Patrick Tatone was identified as the off-duty firefighter accused of shooting a fellow firefighter to death in a Los Angeles County Fire Department station and wounding a fire captain, according to authorities.
Tatone, known as John Tatone to friends, is believed to have died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.
Fire chief Daryl Osby of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said in a news conference, “I can stand here to express my feelings and the deepest sympathies and prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of our fallen firefighter and our injured firefighter.”
The deceased firefighter was named as Tory Carlon. A GoFundMe page was established to help his wife and three daughters. NBC Los Angeles reported he lived in Santa Clarita and had been on the force for two decades.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Carlon & a Captain Were Both Shot, Officials Say
At 10:55 a.m. on June 1, 2021, there was a “tragic shooting” at Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce, according to Osby.
“It is with a heavy heart that I stand here and say that one of our firefighter specialists succumbed to his injuries,” he said in the news conference. “He was a brave, committed, loyal member of our department for over 20 years.”
The victim, Carlon, was a 44-year-old male “who died from his injuries,” Osby said.
Osby said he spoke with the victim’s family and other members of the family. “You can only imagine how they feel for the loss of their co-worker, and the loss of a husband, son, a father, and a dear friend.”
A 54-year-old male fire captain was also shot and was taken to the hospital, where he is in critical but stable condition, Osby said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said arriving deputies “discovered there had been a shooting at the station itself.” The call came in for a “gunshot victim.”
The deceased victim was a firefighter engineer shot multiple times in the torso. The captain was also “suffering from gunshot wounds,” officials said. Witnesses immediately provided a suspect name and vehicle.
2. The Shooter, an Off-Duty Firefighter, Set His Home on Fire Before Dying
BREAKING: 1 firefighter killed, 1 hurt in shooting at a fire station in northern Los Angeles County https://t.co/OtMrv8AEdG pic.twitter.com/Yr2N1wpiDz
— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) June 2, 2021
“Tragically, we learned that the shooter was an off-duty firefighter who came to the fire station,” said Osby.
After the shooting, the suspect “returned to his house, he barricaded himself, the home was set on fire and he was also found deceased,” Osby said.
NBCLA reported that the situation “ended with a standoff and fire that burned for hours at a property about 10 miles away in Acton.” The Associated Press reported that he purchased the home in July 2020
According to NBC Los Angeles, police sources said witnesses identified the shooter and his truck, which police followed to Acton. There, “a fire broke out” and the suspect threatened to shoot law enforcement officers, NBCLA reported. After putting out the fire with water-dropping helicopters, investigators found the body of the suspected shooter, the station said.
Osby added: “This morning when I received the news it was some of the worst news that I’ve heard in my career. As a fire chief, I’ve dealt with a lot of death and a lot of fallen members in my department. I’ve always prayed that we would never have a line-of-duty death.”
The gunman worked at the same station, officials said.
He was found with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. According to The Associated Press, the body was found in an empty pool.
3. Osby Said He Never Thought a Firefighter Would Die ‘in This Fashion’
A firefighter was killed when a gunman opened fire at LA County Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce. Our thoughts and prayers are with @LACOFD. STORY: https://t.co/nZeOHBOHQe pic.twitter.com/UsF0HUgJHa
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) June 1, 2021
“I never thought that if it occurred that it would occur in this fashion,” Osby said during the press conference. “I know that as firefighters we are in a profession of providing assistance to others, but I ask that in this particular situation that we are asking for your support and your assistance and we ask you for our prayers in our time of need.”
He said that firefighting is a “dangerous and arduous profession” and firefighters put their lives on the line responding to calls for service. “I never thought when our firefighters face danger that they would face danger in one of our community fire stations.
Osby said it was “some of the worst news I’ve heard in my career.”
4. The Motive Was a ‘Workplace Beef,’ Authorities Say
A firefighter in Los Angeles County gunned down his coworkers, killing one and wounding another before taking his own life https://t.co/taedBU6698 pic.twitter.com/XGLAk4Et8Z
— Reuters (@Reuters) June 2, 2021
Authorities said that the motive might stem from “some workplace beef” between Tatone and Carlon, according to The Associated Press.
“It sounds like they didn’t like each other,” Brandon Dean, the lead investigator, told The Associated Press, adding that personnel files will be reviewed.
According to the outlet, the station where the shooting occurred “has only four firefighters per shift nad 12 total assigned to it,” with employees working 24-hour shifts.
The AP reported that Tatone had been a firefighter since 2012.
5. A GoFundMe Page Was Set Up to Help Carlon’s Family
A GoFundMe page to help Carlon’s family has raised more than $150,000.
“On June 1st La County Fire Engineer Tory Carlon tragically lost his life at fire station 81 in Aqua Dulce. He leaves behind his wife, Heidi, and three young daughters,” it reads.
“Everyone who knew Tory, loved him. He was an extremely dedicated father and husband who brought a sense of calm to everyone. He absolutely loved being a firefighter and to serving others. His family and friends are devastated by this loss. We appreciate all thoughts and prayers.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom shared a statement saying Carlon’s “selfless service will not be forgotten.”
Community members held a vigil near the fire station in Agua Dolce, The AP reported, with hundreds turning out to honor the “devoted father and committed firefighter who mentored younger colleagues.”