Man Charged With Capital Murder of Firefighter, Setting Blaze at Long Beach Senior Home

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A 77-year-old man was charged today with murdering a Long Beach fire captain and wounding two others after he allegedly set off an explosive device, causing a blaze at a senior housing complex where he lived, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Thomas Man Kim (dob 10/19/40) was charged in case NA109565 with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder of a firefighter, two counts of attempted murder and one count each of arson of an inhabited structure and explosion with intent to murder.

Kim also faces a special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed while a firefighter was on duty and the special allegation that he personally and intentionally discharged a handgun that caused great bodily injury and death.

Arraignment is expected at a later date in Department S01 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Long Beach Branch.

Deputy District Attorneys Geoff Lewin of the Crimes Against Peace Officers Section and Holly Harpham of the Arson and Explosives Section are prosecuting the case.

Prosecutors said Kim allegedly had been feuding with a woman who lived above him and set off an explosive device on June 25 in his apartment with the intent to kill her. Long Beach firefighters responded to a fire at the 11-story complex on the 600 block of East 4th Street in Long Beach.

After the explosion in his apartment, the defendant reportedly sat at the opposite end of hallway from his apartment when Long Beach fire Capt. Dave Rosa made his way down the hall, prosecutors said. Kim allegedly opened fire on Rosa, killing him, and then fired and wounded firefighter Ernesto Torres and another man who lived in the building, according to prosecutors.

If convicted as charged, Kim faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The decision whether to seek capital punishment will be made at a later date.

The case remains under investigation by the Long Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case NA109565 / June 27, 2018