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News Release

Friday, August 16, 2002

Media Relations

Firefighter Recruit Arrested for Making Workplace Threats

"Firefighter Recruit Arrested for Making Workplace Threats"

Los Angeles: The suspect is a recruit firefighter who was assigned to the Los Angeles City Fire Department Training Academy in the San Fernando Valley. The suspect had been failing the physical requirements of the training and was in the process of being terminated based upon his performance. On July 30, 2002, the suspect was approached by another recruit who inquired as to his possible termination. The suspect replied that he didn't know, but he made a statement threatening lives at the Academy if he were to be terminated. Based upon the suspect's comment, a representative from the Recruit Training Section contacted the Threat Management Unit (TMU), Detective Headquarters Division (DHD), for advice.

Upon receipt of this information, the TMU detectives immediately initiated a workplace violence investigation and notified the appropriate members on the City Threat Assessment Team. A management plan was developed in which the TMU would obtain a search warrant for weapons on the suspect’s residence. The Fire Department would prepare the necessary termination papers, and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office would draft a Workplace Violence Restraining Order; all to be served in conjunction with the search of the suspect’s home.

On Thursday, August 15, 2002, detectives from the TMU and the DHD Gun Unit served the search warrant on the suspect's residence. At the time of service, detectives recovered five semi-automatic handguns, two revolvers, five military assault type rifles, one shotgun, and several hundred rounds of ammunition and magazines. Also located was an approximate 4" long pipe type bomb with an exposed fuse. The LAPD Bomb Squad was notified and responded to the location where they determined the device to be active. The device was detonated and rendered safe.

Christopher Sooy, 38 years of age of Woodland Hills, was arrested and booked for 12303.2 P.C., Felony Possession of Destructive Devices. At the time of his arrest, the suspect was served with the restraining order on behalf of the Fire Department personnel along with the notice of termination. Sooy's bail has been set at $500,000.00 with filing of criminal charges pending at this time.

For further information, contact the detectives from the TMU at 213-473-7488.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.