A 21-year veteran of the Stockton Fire Department was shot and killed while trying to extinguish a dumpster fire. Captain Max Fortuna, 47, was one of several firefighters who responded to reports of a dumpster fire that was threatening a nearby building just before 5 a.m. on Monday (January 31) morning.
While the firefighters battled the flames, shots rang out, and Fortuna was struck by the gunfire. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“Captain Fortuna served the City of Stockton for 21 years and leaves behind a wife and two grown children,” Stockton Fire Chief Rick Edwards said in a statement. “I ask you to keep Captain Fortuna’s family and the Stockton Fire Department family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
Authorities arrested a 67-year-old man at the scene and recovered a gun believed to be used in the shooting. They did not identify the suspect or provide details about what led to the shooting.
“Max was a firefighter who showed up every day and never complained about being on the job,” Stockton Firefighters 456 Union President Mario Gardea said during a press conference. “Max will be always considered a legacy firefighter, and he’s gonna be missed.”