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Tentative settlement reached for family of slain firefighter


Murdered by colleague in 2021

The widow and children of a Los Angeles County Fire Department engineer shot to death by a colleague at the Agua Dulce station have reached a tentative settlement in part of their lawsuit against the county.

The Chatsworth Superior Court lawsuit was brought in January 2022 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.

On Monday, the attorneys filed joint papers with Judge Stephen P. Pfahler stating that the accord is subject to approval by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. No terms were revealed.

Carlon was working at Station No. 81 on Sierra Highway on June 1, 2021, when 45-year-old Jonathan Patrick 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  Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Arnie Sandoval, who survived.

Tatone left for his Acton residence, which he set afire before shooting himself to death. The Carlon family suit names as defendants the county and Tatone’s estate.

A Carlon family spokesman previously issued a statement regarding the case.

“The failure of the Los Angeles County Fire Department to take action against Tatone, thus ratifying his behavior and leaving Tory Carlon as an easy and vulnerable victim, resulted in a lawsuit by Mr. Carlon’s family against the County of Los Angeles and the estate of Tatone,” the statement read.

In their previous court papers, county attorneys argued that the county was not liable due to governmental immunity and workers’ compensation rules.

But the Carlon family lawyers maintained that Tatone “was an open wound in Fire Station 81, left to fester and infect for years by Los Angeles County Fire Department leadership who chose to ignore, normalize and ratify Tatone’s dangerous conduct.”

Tory Carlon and others consistently warned that Tatone was “unhinged and dangerous,” the Carlon family attorneys further stated in their court papers, adding that supervisors of Tatone and Carlon nonetheless assigned the pair to work together regardless of Tatone’s threatening behavior.