Family of firefighter murdered by colleague at Station 81 sue LA County, killer's estate

The widow and three children of a Los Angeles County Fire Department engineer who was slain by a colleague at the Agua Dulce station sued Los Angeles County and the killer's estate Friday for wrongful death.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought by Heidi Carlon, who was married to the late 44-year-old Tory Carlon; her adult daughter, Joslyn Carlon; and Heidi Carlon's two other daughters, who are both minors, seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Representatives for the county and the estate of Jonathan Patrick Tatone, who fatally shot Carlon before killing himself, could not be immediately reached.


"Although Tatone pulled the trigger, it was the Los Angeles County Fire Department leadership's ratification of Tatone's years of dangerous conduct that was the substantial factor in the death of Carlon," the suit alleges.

Carlon was working at Station No. 81 on Sierra Highway on June 1 when the 45-year-old Tatone, who also was an engineer but was off duty, arrived and an argument ensued, authorities said. Tatone subsequently shot Carlon, who later died, and county Fire Capt. Arnie Sandoval, who survived.

Tatone left for his Acton residence, which he set afire before shooting himself to death.

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Carlon and others had consistently warned that Tatone was "unhinged and dangerous," but the county "chose to ignore, ratify and empower Tatone's bad conduct."

According to the suit, Tatone was mentally unstable as well as "angry, unpredictable, violent and eventually deadly" as well as an " open wound in Fire Station 81, left to fester and infect for years..."

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