Hundreds of firefighters attended a high school graduation ceremony in a powerful display of support for the daughter of a colleague killed earlier this week in a shooting at a fire station.
The eldest daughter of 44-year-old Tory Carlon, a more than 20-year member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department, was presented with her father’s turnout jacket before the ceremony. She was wearing the jacket as she crossed the stage at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita to accept her Saugus High School diploma.
“(Her) father couldn’t be here, so we’re here,” said Los Angeles County Fire Battalion Chief Nick Berkuta.
Firefighters, classmates and others in the audience cheered as her name was announced.
Carlon was killed and a fire captain was injured when an off-duty firefighter shot them Tuesday morning at Fire Station 81 in Agua Dulce, a Santa Clarita Valley community north of Los Angeles. The father of three daughters was remembered by co-workers as a devoted parent who served as a mentor to younger firefighters.
The fire captain remains hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition.
The shooter later died, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot, during a standoff and fire at his home about 10 miles from the fire station in Acton, authorities said.
Authorities said the shooting stemmed from a workplace dispute.
This class of Saugus High School students has faced heartbreak before. In 2019, a student opened fire in a quad area at the school, killing two classmates, ages 14 and 15.
“There are always people to help you and bring you up,” said Eileen Falah, a parent of a graduating senior who was at Thursday's emotional ceremony.