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77-year-old man charged in fatal shooting of Long Beach fire captain has died in hospital jail ward

77-year-old man charged in fatal shooting of Long Beach fire captain has died in hospital jail ward
A fire department honor guard wheels the casket of Long Beach Fire Department Capt. Dave Rosa out of the Long Beach Convention Center after a funeral service. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A 77-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a Long Beach Fire Department captain during an emergency call at a high-rise housing complex for seniors has died, authorities said.

Thomas Kim died early Sunday of a “preexisting illness” in the jail ward at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Wally Bracks. She did not have details on his condition.

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Kim had faced several charges in connection with the June 25 incident: 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.

Prosecutors said Kim set off an explosive device at Covenant Manor in an apparent attempt to kill a female neighbor with whom he had been feuding.

Capt. Dave Rosa, a 17-year veteran of the Fire Department, and his crew had responded to the predawn call after the blast ignited a fire.

At 4:08 a.m., 19 minutes after they responded, the firefighters were met with gunfire. Rosa was killed. Firefighter Ernesto Torres and an elderly resident of the complex were injured.

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