California firefighter fatally shot while responding to fire

Jan 31, 2022, 12:54 PM | Updated: 8:42 pm

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A veteran central California firefighter was fatally shot Monday when he and others responded to a report of a dumpster fire and authorities arrested a suspect, officials said.

Fire Capt. Vidal “Max” Fortuna was shot before dawn in the city of Stockton and died at a hospital, Stockton Fire Chief Rick Edwards told reporters.

Edwards said the death is his “worst nightmare” as a fire chief.

“My message to my firefighters is to be strong. My heart breaks with you but we will get through this,” he said.

A 67-year-old man was detained at the scene and officers recovered a firearm, said interim Police Chief Jim Chraska. Homicide detectives are trying to determine what led up to the shooting, he said.

“This highlights the dangers public safety faces every day, and again, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Fortuna family,” Chraska said.

Fortuna, 47, had been a firefighter for more than two decades and is survived by his wife and two adult children, Edwards said.

Dozens of police and fire department vehicles accompanied Fortuna’s body from the hospital to a funeral home.

The flag at Stockton City Hall was lowered to half-staff in honor of Fortuna.

Although Stockton firefighters have died doing their job, officials said it was likely the first time one was shot while on duty.

“This is something that I’ve never heard of here in the city of Stockton, firefighter being shot and killed,” police Officer Joe Silva told the Stockton Record.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

3 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

6 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

6 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

7 days ago

Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump helps serve food to Texas Natio...

Associated Press

Trump receives endorsement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during a visit to a US-Mexico border town

Donald Trump picked up the Texas governor’s endorsement Sunday during a visit to a U.S.-Mexico border town.

9 days ago

Eric Trump, executive vice president of Trump Organization Inc., speaks to the media as he leaves f...

Associated Press

Lawyers in Trump’s civil fraud trial are ordered to clam up about judge’s communications with staff

Eric Trump testified Friday that he was relying on accountants to ensure the accuracy of financial statements.

25 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

California firefighter fatally shot while responding to fire