LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Wearing a hospital gown and sitting in a wheelchair, a Long Beach man appeared in court for the first time to face charges he killed a fire captain in a botched murder-suicide attempt.
Thomas Kim, 77, appeared frail as he faced a judge Monday morning. Neighbors tell KCAL9’s Dave Lopez that Kim was receiving treatment for cancer and a kidney disorder at the time of the deadly incident.
“I’m real surprised he was well enough to be brought to court today,” a prosecutor told Lopez.
Kim is accused of killing Long Beach Fire Capt. David Rosa, 45, as he responded to reports of a fire and explosion at Kim’s apartment complex, Covenant Manor. Prosecutors say Kim set off a firebomb, which triggered the alarm and the building’s sprinkler system, then shot Capt. Rosa, another firefighter and a male resident. The second firefighter survived his gunshot wounds, but the other victim is still hospitalized.
Authorities previously said that Kim was trying to kill his upstairs neighbor and himself by setting off the explosion. A handgun and gasoline were recovered from his apartment, police say.
A massive memorial for Capt. Rosa was held last week in Long Beach, drawing hundreds of firefighters from across America to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
At least six firefighters were present in the courtroom today, all of whom told Dave Lopez they were personal friends of Capt. Rosa.
Kim remained silent throughout the hearing and did not enter a plea. He is due back in court August 15.