(CNN)A firefighter is dead and another is hospitalized after an off-duty colleague fired gunshots in a Los Angeles County fire station before apparently taking his own life, authorities said.
The shooter, a firefighter specialist and engineer, was found dead inside a burning home in Acton, California, nearly 10 miles away from where he opened fire, according to officials.The pandemic's essential workers are again the victims of a mass shooting — this time in San JoseIt’s the second time in a week that someone in California went to their workplace and shot and killed co-workers before officials believe they turned the gun on themselves. Last Wednesday, nine people died after a gunman opened fire at a public transit rail yard in San Jose before he killed himself.The fire station shooting happened just before 11 a.m. Tuesday at Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce, about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. The shooter died after an apparent gunshot wound that seemed to be self-inflicted, Sheriff’s Lt. Brandon Dean said. The names of the shooter and victims have not yet been released. Read MoreThe two California shootings are the latest to claim the lives of essential workers sustaining the US economy during the Covid-19 pandemic — including the April mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the March mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.Gunman wasn’t scheduled to work that day, officials sayAuthorities identified one of the victims in Tuesday’s shooting as a 44-year-old man who suffered gunshot wounds to his torso and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a firefighter specialist and engineer who’s been with the department for more than 20 years, Osby said.The other victim, a 54-year-old LAFD captain, was brought to a hospital with gunshot wounds and was in critical but stable condition Tuesday, Osby said.”As a fire chief, I’ve dealt with a lot of death and a lot of fallen members of our department and I always prayed we would never have a line-of-duty death,” Osby said through tears. “I never thought that if it occurred it would occur in this fashion.”According to Osby, the suspected gunman was not scheduled to work Tuesday, and the shooter and two victims all worked different shifts.Investigators received a name and vehicle description of the suspect from witness testimony, which led them to the house in Acton, according to Brandon Dean with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau. The home was on fire when authorities arrived, he said. While fighting the house fire, deputies saw a man in a pool with a fatal gunshot wound to the head.”This is very early on, the actual motive we’re unsure of,” Dean said.Law enforcement officers respond to the scene of a shooting at a Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority facility on May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. Another shooting left nine dead in San Jose last week Last week in San Jose, Samuel James Cassidy, 57, opened fire at the Valley Transportation Authority in what the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office described as a targeted shooting.Cassidy, a VTA employee, fatally shot his coworkers inside two buildings around the time of a morning shift change before killing himself in front of responding law enforcement officers, authorities said.”He … was targeting certain people. He walked by other people,” VTA worker Kirk Bertolet had told KGO. “He let other people live as he gunned down other people.”Authorities said the three guns recovered at the scene were legally obtained and registered.San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told CNN that Cassidy knew the victims, who were all VTA employees. “It’s clear the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well,” he said.They were identified by the medical examiner as Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Adrian Balleza, 29; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Lars Kepler Lane, 63; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; and Timothy Michael Romo, 49.Liccardo described them as “essential workers” who risked their lives and showed up every day throughout the pandemic.Newly released body camera footage from the moment five officers first encountered Cassidy shows the minutes before authorities found him inside a VTA building sitting in a chair, unresponsive with a gun in his hand.”The shot that went through the window was the first of three shots, but that is preliminary right now,” Santa Clara Sheriff Laurie Smith said. “The next two shots — he shot himself once under the chin, it wasn’t fatal and then in the side of the head.”