San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY 222 E. Weber Ave., Room 202, Stockton, CA
P. O. Box 990, Stockton, CA 95201
T (209) 468-2400 | F (209) 465-0371
TORI VERBER SALAZAR District Attorney Scott A. Fichtner Assistant District Attorney Kristine M. Reed Assistant District Attorney James Bojko Chief Investigator
News from the Office of District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar
For Immediate Release
February 2, 2022
CONTACT: Elisa Bubak, Public Information Officer
T: (209) 468-2400 | E:

Arraignment Today in Murder of Stockton Firefighter

Stockton - Today, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar announced that defendant Robert Alston Somerville, 67, was arraigned on murder and weapons charges surrounding the death of Stockton Fire Captain Vidal “Max” Fortuna.

“This is an unfathomable tragedy for our community and one that should never have occurred,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stockton Fire Department and Captain Fortuna’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”

According to the Stockton Police Department, Stockton Fire Department Dispatch was notified by a 911 call of a fire in the vicinity of Aurora and Washington Streets at approximately 4:45 AM on January 31, 2022. Engine 2 from Stockton Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and located the fire at 142 Aurora Street. After noticing the trailer fire was advancing toward a building in the area, Engine 2 firefighters attempted to enter the building in order to extinguish the fire. Tragically, Captain Vidal “Max” Fortuna was shot in the line of duty and succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. 

The defendant returns to court on February 23, 2022, at 8:30 AM before the Honorable Judge Northup for bail review.

Official Complaint linked below.