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Senior Arrested For Murder Of Long Beach Fire Captain

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — The community of Long Beach is in mourning Tuesday for a veteran firefighter who was shot and killed while responding to an explosion and fire at a high-rise apartment building for seniors.

"We have lost. A tremendous loss here," Darlene Anderson said at a candlelight vigil for Long Beach Fire Capt. Dave Rosa. "My heart hurts."

Rosa, 45, was fatally wounded while responding to an explosion at Covenant Manor, an 11-story apartment building. A second firefighter, 35-year-old Ernesto Torres, suffered a graze wound in the attack, and a Covenant Manor resident was also struck by gunfire. He was in critical but stable condition Monday afternoon, Long Beach Police Department Chief Robert Luna said.

Thomas Kim, a 77-year-old resident of Covenant Manor, was arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson, with bail set at $2 million.

Authorities now believe Kim was trying to kill his upstairs neighbor and himself by setting an explosion.

Two suspicious devices were found at the scene and eventually rendered safe. Gasoline was also removed from the premises, and a handgun was recovered, Luna said.

"It was a total shock when I heard what he had done," said Sue Windmiller-Smith, Kim's neighbor at the home. "That's not him."

She stated Kim had been doing odd things recently, like letting his caregiver go and giving away some of his belongings.

"I do know that he was upset with the lady above him," Windmiller-Smith said. "He was saying she was making noise in the night, and he would call the police and have the police go up there."

Covenant resident Rick Convay told CBS2 News he saw Kim holding the weapon in the stairwell right after the shooting.

"And that's when I saw it in his hand. He sort of sat there looking after he shot it,[...] like, "What did I just do,'" recalled Rick Convay.

Gov. Jerry Brown released a statement expressing condolence and sadness over the killing.

Rosa, who was a 17-year veteran of the department is survived by his wife, Lynley, and sons Alec, 25, and Samuel, 16.

Rosa's body was transported in a flag-draped casket from the morgue to a mortuary in Orange County Tuesday afternoon, and the memorial at his Long Beach FD Station 10 is still growing.

"We should have all of our respect for them and the police, as well," said resident Maria Arroyo among the flower arrangements. "They're there for us, to help us, to save our lives, not for us to kill their lives.

The fire captain was also a devout little league volunteer. He was honored at an all-star game in Laguna Woods Tuesday evening.

"He was as good a guy as you're ever gonna find," said  Todd Strane with the San Juan Capistrano Little League. "For such a good guy, you think about his family, you think about his wife, you think about his two boys, and they're gonna go home today without a father. It's sad."

"Dave was one of those people that, you know, he's very approachable. He's an amazing man," said Elijah Robles. "There's nothing you couldn't like about him. He touched anyone from down here in South Orange County all the way up to where he was currently in Long Beach.

In his honor, flags were flown at half-staff at the Capitol in Sacramento.

Kim is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

The group "Friends of Long Beach Firefighters" has set up a fundraising page for the Captain's family as well as a  memorial. Click here for more information.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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