California firefighter shot and killed while battling fire; suspect facing homicide and weapons charges. Captain Max Fortuna, 47, leaves behind a wife and two children.
A firefighter was shot and killed in Stockton, California, on Monday morning while battling a dumpster fire, officials announced.
Captain Vidal “Max” Fortuna, 47, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. He leaves behind a wife and two grown children.
The Stockton Fire Department responded to a call of a dumpster fire at 4:45 a.m. on Monday morning and shots rang out as they worked to extinguish the blaze, striking Fortuna.
Robert Somerville, 67, was arrested at the scene and is facing homicide and weapons charges.
Stockton Fire Chief Rick Edwards called the shooting his “worst nightmare.”
“This is a very, very sad day for this fire department,” Edwards said.
Stockton Police Department spokesperson Joe Silva said on Monday afternoon that detectives were still trying to piece together what led up to the shooting.
Max Fortuna Suspect Photos
“We don’t have a motive,” Silva told Fox News Digital. “We don’t know if they knew each other or not.”
Fortuna was a 21-year veteran of the Stockton Fire Department.
“Max was a firefighter who showed up every day and never complained about being on the job. I don’t really know too many other firefighters who enjoy the job as much as him,” Stockton Professional Firefighters Union President Mario Gardea said Monday.
The Stockton Fire and Police Departments escorted Fortuna from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office to Casa Bonita Funeral Home on Monday afternoon.
About a dozen police officers on motorcycles led a hearse and two fire trucks through Stockton.