Supes OK $2.575M settlement in firefighter shooting 

A banner to honor firefighter Tory Carlon is mounted to Fire Station 131 in Palmdale during a flagging ceremony. Raychel Stewart / The Signal.
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The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a $2.575 million settlement for a firefighter who was left paralyzed after a fatal shooting at Fire Station 81 on June 1, 2021, that also claimed the life of Tory Carlon.  

A pair of lawsuits by family members of Tory Carlon remain ongoing, according to court records. 

An attorney for Arnoldo Sandoval said Thursday the former fire captain “still feels there’s work to do” when reached for comment regarding supervisors’ approval of the terms. 

“He wants to do anything and everything he can to make sure this never happens again,” said Rick Kinnan of Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack, who represented Sandoval in his lawsuit against L.A. County. The terms approved Tuesday were reached in July, he added. 

“We are grateful that the county agreed to settle this tragic case,” Kinnan wrote in a statement released by the firm, which also noted past attempts by Sandoval and Carlon to make their superiors aware of their concerns about the shooter, who had been a fellow firefighter. 

“Unfortunately, no action was taken despite the warning signs of real trouble ahead,” he added. “Hopefully, this case sends a clear message that action must be taken once the warning signs are there to prevent violence in the workplace.” 

Sandoval alleged in his complaint that he notified his superiors of concerns he had about Jonathan Tatone, who also fatally shot Carlon in the Agua Dulce fire station where they all worked. Tatone later killed himself at his Acton home after setting it on fire. 

A suit filed in January 2022 by Heidi Carlon, which is still ongoing, also alleges that Tory Carlon and others had warned the department of “unhinged and dangerous” behavior by Tatone even in the days leading up to the shooting. Tory Carlon’s parents have also filed suit. 

An attorney for Heidi Carlon did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.  

Fifth District L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the Santa Clarita Valley, called the incident tragic and painful in a statement, adding there’s a lot of community trauma that lingers today as a result of the shooting. 

She expressed optimism that new leadership in the Fire Department — Chief Anthony Marrone officially replaced Chief Daryl Osby, who retired in 2022, in February — that a better focus on employee well-being will help prevent future incidents.  

“It is my hope that, with the new leadership change at our county’s Fire Department and a greater focus on employee wellness,” Barger wrote, “an incident like this will be prevented and never occur again.” 

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