Breaking News: LA SWAT Officer Dead In Standoff | MassCops

Breaking News: LA SWAT Officer Dead In Standoff

Discussion in 'Line of Duty Death News' started by Inspector, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A SWAT officer was killed early Thursday in a shootout with a barricaded man who claimed to have killed three relatives, police said.
    Another officer was wounded, officials said.
    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A man fatally shot two to three people believed to be his relatives and then shot two police officers, police told a radio station.
    The suspect was barricaded inside a home early Thursday.
    The man first killed the two or three people believed to be in his family, then opened fire on the two officers who arrived in response to the first shooting, hitting them, police told radio station KNX.
    © 2008 The Associated Press.

    [​IMG] Two SWAT team members have been shot, one killed in a standoff Thursday morning.At last report over two-hundred officers have been called to the scene.

    Late word from LA is the second SWAT officer is in critical condition undergoing emergency surgery and the standoff continues.

    Late reports say this is the first LA SWAT officer killed since the unit was formed.

    Reports say two civilian bodies are inside the house and a third on the front lawn.
  2. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    [​IMG] Tear gas pours from the home of a man who claimed to have shot three family members before shooting two SWAT officers, killing one.

    A deputy chief in LA reports the wounded officer is now expected to survive. The tow SWAT officers were wounded in a fierce exchange of gunfire as they entered the home of the barricaded suspect. They reportedly withdrew as they encountered the heavy gunfire.
  3. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Two SWAT Team Members Shot In Standoff, 1 Killed

    Report 2 Officers, 3 Others Shot

    [​IMG] Two SWAT team members have been shot, one killed in a standoff Thursday morning. CBS

    WINNETKA, Calif. (CBS) ― Two SWAT team members have been shot and one died, as a man has barricaded himself inside a home near Vanowen Street and Oakdale Avenue in Winnetka. The incident began around 9 p.m. Wednesday.

    The man called the police, confessing to shooting three family members. Police responded to the scene and SWAT team members entered the house. Two veteran officers were shot by the gunman.

    The officer is the first SWAT team member to be killed in the line of duty in the history of the elite team, which was created in 1967.

    Both SWAT team members who were shot have spent more than 25 years in the Los Angeles Police Department, and more than 20 in the SWAT team, according to First-Assistant police Chief Jim McDonnell.

    Approximately 200 LAPD officers, including SWAT team members were surrounding the home, involved in what McDonnell called an ongoing "dynamic tactical situation."

    "I want to say how deeply saddened we are this morning that we lost a member of our LAPD family," McDonnell said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to these families at this tough time."

    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who also spoke a press conference at 5 a.m., said the officer's death was a reminder of how perilous the work performed by police.

    The second officer who was shot was in surgery as of 5:30 a.m., but is expected to survive his wounds.

    Video Press Conference:

    Both officers were taken to Northridge Medical Center, where veteran officer Randal Simmons died just after 1 a.m., McDonnell said.
    Officer James Veenstra was undergoing surgery at 5 a.m. and was expected to survive, McDonnell said.
  4. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    Seige is continuing at the home where a barricaded suspect is entrenched. This dawn photo shows the home with gas pouring outward. Officers themselves were forced to retreat with the huge amount of gas lobbed inside. Latest reports from news choppers saw officers at front door with battering ram attempting entry.


    While news reports from the scene are slow, it would appear officers have now been successful in their entry. Firemen can be seen attempting to bring a fire under control in the house as seen on this live video feed.
  5. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    Both SWAT officers had twenty years in SWAT and both are highly respected veterans. I'm currently watching it live on local TV and it looks like they've got him in custody. We have another Weymouth native on our SWAT Team here, thankfully he was not one of the officers wounded.

    As he's known locally, Traveling Bill (Bratton) was in Vancouver when this happened. He's enroute back now.

    Sadly, it looks like I've got another funeral to attend and pay my respects. This now makes 37 LAPD officers who have given their lives in the line of duty since I've been on the job here.

    Officer Randy Simmons, may he rest in peace.
  6. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    INSPECTOR'S NOTE: While watching above live feed, in which is was just stated they believe the suspect's body is inside the home, I was very angry when the TV announcer in the live formal coverage said this was "the largest police response he has ever seen to any event" and added these words
    "Isn't it just ridiculous?" I am getting on to comment ot Fox right now.

    To be fair, I am not sure the announcer realizes he is streaming live as the comments are informal and more conversational. None the less I would expect his attitude needs adjustment.
  7. Big.G

    Big.G In Tactical Mode....

    The video on seems very sympathic for the LAPD.
  8. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Suspect is dead
  9. Danman1116

    Danman1116 New Member

    hope he suffered :mad:

    RIP Off. Simmons :(
  10. Big.G

    Big.G In Tactical Mode....

    Good. Hopefully it was a long, slow, miserable death. Even then it won't offset the loss of Officer Simmons, but its the most we could hope for.

    R.I.P. Officer Simmons

    Hang in there Officer Veenstra.
  11. Inspector

    Inspector Subscribing Member

    Further reports from the scene say SWAT, after firing in the tear gas and flash bangs, launched a remote controlled vehicle followed up by additional SWAT officers. A female hostage, still inside the burning house, ran and additional rapid fire from the suspect was encountered. The suspect, who was still fighting from behind stacked mattresses, was mortally wounded by SWAT. The investigation is continuing.
  12. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Police Protective League Remembers SWAT Officer

    Randy Simmons, 51, Killed In Standoff

    LOS ANGELES The president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League said that the fatal shooting of an LAPD SWAT officer, the first in the history of the elite team, is a "devastating" and "shocking" reminder of the risks officers face on a day-to-day basis.

    Veteran LAPD SWAT Officer Randy Simmons, 51, was killed inside a Winnetka home on Thursday morning. He was involved in a gun battle with a man who admitted to killing three family members before the standoff began.

    It was the first fatality in the history of the elite LAPD SWAT team, which was created in 1967 and went on full-time status in 1971.

    "Every day when we go on duty we know the dangers we are facing, yet it is still devastating and shocking when we lose one of our own," said Tim Sands, president of the LAPPL, the union representing the LAPD rank-and-file.

    "Officer Randal Simmons was a good friend, loyal partner and an exemplary officer. He was proud to be a member of the LAPD SWAT, despite the risks that came with that assignment, and today that bravery cost him his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family members, who lost a good man."

    Officer James Veenstra, the 51-year-old husband of an LAPD captain, was also hit during the standoff. His injuries are considered critical, but he is expected to survive.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are also with Officer James Veenstra, who is recovering from surgery, and his family, including his wife, (LAPD) Capt. Michelle Veenstra. We pledge our support to the families of both Officer Simmons and Officer Veenstra, to help them through this difficult time," Sands said.

    The Los Angeles Police Protective League represents the more than 9,000 rank and file members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

    SLIDESHOW: Deadly Winnetka Standoff
  13. Killjoy

    Killjoy Zombie Hunter

    Never thought I would see this day...that dirtbag must have gotten very, very lucky, considering a the caliber of LAPD SWAT.

    A sad day for all law enforcement officers....RIP, brother.
  14. PBC FL Cop

    PBC FL Cop Subscribing Member

    +1, LAPD SWAT have always been considered the best of the best. What a tragic event.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the officer's family, his SWAT family and the entire LAPD.
  15. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Slain SWAT officer took duty to heart

    By Jill Leovy
    The Los Angeles Times

    LOS ANGELES — For Randal Simmons, who was killed in a San Fernando Valley police standoff overnight, being an officer was more than just a job. The calling extended into the rest of his life -- from mentoring youth in South Los Angeles to charity efforts.

    "He was what you would consider a professional police officer," said close friend and former police academy classmate Capt. James Craig. "Passionate about the job, and passionate about making a difference in the community."

    Simmons, 51, had tried as a young man for a career as a professional football player, and was active in police department sports leagues, playing for the "Centurions," LAPD's football club, and running in charity races. "He was a very outgoing guy. Always smiling, always a kind word for everyone," said LAPD Deputy Chief Charlie Beck.

    On the job, the married father of two -- a son, 15, and daughter, 13 — stood out for his kindness and steady temperament. Simmons, originally from New York City, was the son of a minister, according to his former partner, retired LAPD Det. Gregory Grant. Simmons graduated from Fairfax High School in 1974, where he played varsity high school and ran varsity track, according to Los Angeles Unified School District officials.

    He then studied criminology at Washington State University, where he played cornerback for the football team in 1976, 1977 and 1978. His final year, he was a varsity starter, playing as No. 17, according to the university's sports information office.

    While Simmons was the strongest guy on the team, able to bench-press more than 400 pounds, his friend and college teammate Greg Sykes remembers with a laugh that Simmons "couldn't catch a ball to save his life."

    Teammates would joke that the ball would hit Simmons anywhere but his hands, Sykes said.

    After college, Simmons was briefly a Dallas Cowboys hopeful, friends said. But his pro-football dreams were cut short by an injury, and he turned to police work. In 1981, he was assigned as a probationary officer to LAPD's Pacific Division, one of three African American probationers in the region at that time, Craig said.

    Later, he worked LAPD's South Bureau gang squad, known then as "CRASH."

    Grant said Simmons was a physically imposing officer — "an Adonis" — known for his superb physical fitness, for connecting with people and for maintaining his calm. Size alone was not the reason he had so few confrontations on the job. "We just talked to people. We had them laughing on the way to jail," Grant said. "He was really able to communicate with people — able to extract information from unwilling people. He made them comfortable, and put humanity into it."

    When he encountered resistance, he appealed to people's sense of right and wrong, Grant said. Only the most pathological suspects did not respond, he said.

    When Simmons was later promoted to work in SWAT, considered one of the department's most elite and highly coveted jobs, his calm negotiating style stood out in standoffs with suspects in high-pressure hostage situations.

    Rick Massa, Simmons' longtime SWAT team partner and colleague, recalls Simmons' cool head under fire during a hostage negotiation in 1992.

    Officers were attempting to rescue a maid held captive by religious zealot Rollen Frederick Stewart at the Hyatt Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. Stewart was better known as "Rainbow Man," notorious for the multicolored wigs he would wear on the sidelines at major sporting events while brandishing signs with Bible verses.

    Working as the lead hostage negotiator, Massa said he couldn't get through to Stewart, who was quoting scripture the officer didn't know much about. So he called on Simmons, a devout man well-versed in the Bible. Although he was fighting the flu, Simmons chatted with "Rainbow Man" for hours, dissecting the meaning of various Biblical passages from morning through the early evening — and buying officers precious time.

    "They talked for hours, back and forth, about religion, quoting Bible verses," Massa said. SWAT officers were able to formulate a plan and rescue the hotel employee. "He brought that kind of expertise to the job," said Massa.

    One of his assignments in SWAT was as contact person for charity efforts, including an annual toy drive at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital south of downtown Los Angeles.

    "He was a really great guy. Not only incredibly friendly, but really interested in being of service. You could tell," said Jeffrey Klein, former head of fundraising for Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital, now with Providence Hospital.

    Simmons' strong Christian faith was a huge part of his life: he was often called upon to deliver the benediction at SWAT officer gatherings, Massa said. Friends recalled him gently prodding them to go to church, to "get right with God." He prodded them about health matters too, telling them to drink soy milk, and offering workout pointers.

    He was involved in helping his congregation construct a gymnasium, Massa said, and would head straight to church after working out. And he worked off-hours mentoring youth in housing projects in South Los Angeles, Craig said. "He was so concerned with at-risk youth," Craig said.

    With 20 years on the job, he could have easily retired, colleagues said, but chose not to because he liked the work. At the same time, he was a devoted family man, with a marriage that remained strong despite a profession notorious for destroying marriages, Grant said.

    Grant recalled Simmons on his wedding day, some decades prior. The athletic, confident, muscular police officer had a whole different mien at the altar, he said. "He was trembling, tears running off his chin," Grant recalled.

    He is survived by his wife, his two children, his parents and three sisters.

    [​IMG]Wire Service
  16. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    Got a quick briefing today. The shooter was in a position of advantage when the officers entered the residence to perform a "citizen rescue" of three people they believed to be wounded but not dead. (Turned out later that two were dead and the third died a short time after being rescued.) He was hiding in the dark behind a large piece of furniture. He knew where the officers were when they entered but they couldn't see him.

    The first two officers were both struck in the face, which means they were facing the threat. A third officer had a flashlight attached to his shotgun. The light was struck by a round, which caused it to shatter in the officers face. Other officers lay suppression fire so that they could rescue both the officers and the civilians. The suspect was later taken out by a sniper.

    Sounds like several Medals of Valor are going to be awarded here, including one posthumesly (sp). Come to find out, Officer Veenstra was awarded the Medal of Valor several years ago when he and others attempted to rescue a Glendale detective who was shot and killed in the line of duty during a follow up investigation in LA.
  17. Hb13

    Hb13 MassCops Member

    My prayers are with the families of the officers and the civilians families who lost their lives.
  18. sherifflittle

    sherifflittle MassCops Member

    A sad day for all law enforcement officers....RIP, brother.
    Our prayers are with all of you.
  19. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Los Angeles Police Investigate Standoff, Officer's Death

    Associated Press Writer

    Police on Friday were trying to piece together the motives of a gunman who went on an hours-long rampage and engaged police in an 11-hour standoff a day earlier.
    When the ordeal finally ended Thursday morning, a veteran SWAT officer and three others believed to be the gunman's relatives were dead. So was the gunman. Another officer was seriously wounded.
    The slain officer was Randal Simmons, 51. His colleague James Veenstra, also 51, was in stable condition after surgery, said Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell. Two other SWAT officers received minor wounds.
    The name of the gunman was not released, but a friend identified him as Edwin Rivera, 20.
    Jose Ortiz, 21, said Rivera - a heavyset man who went by the nickname "Hefty" - was unemployed and had been spending a lot of time at home playing video games. He and Rivera had planned to spend Thursday barbecuing and burning music onto CDs, Ortiz said.
    The coroner's office on Friday confirmed that Rivera was among the dead. His father, Gerardo, 54, and brother, Edgar, 21, also were killed. Another victim was not immediately identified because the body was too badly damaged, said coroner's assistant chief Ed Winter.
    The Los Angeles Times and the Daily News, citing relatives and other sources, identified the last victim as another of Rivera's brothers, Andy, 25.
    All four died of gunshot wounds, Winter said.
    The gunman called 911 about 9 p.m. Wednesday to say he had killed three relatives. Simmons was killed about three hours later when the SWAT team was met with a barrage of gunfire as officers entered the house.
    After Simmons and Veenstra officers were shot, police retreated with their wounded colleagues.
    Hours later, after failing to make contact with the gunman, police lobbed tear gas into the home and hit it repeatedly with a battering ram. Less than 90 minutes later, the house was burning.
    A police sniper eventually shot the gunman after another exchange of gunfire.
    Police Chief William Bratton said Simmons and his fellow officers acted appropriately. Inspector General Andre Birotte of the Police Commission, the department's civilian overseer, said the officers' actions would be reviewed, but it appeared police handled the situation properly.

    [​IMG]Wire Service
  20. PaulKersey

    PaulKersey New Member

  21. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

  22. PaulKersey

    PaulKersey New Member

  23. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    I've heard several different things as to what weapon the suspect was carrying. A friend of mine who is also from Mass, is on our SWAT Team and was there when this went down. When the time is right, I will get the details from him and post them here.

    As for what Andre Birotte is quoted as saying in the LA Times, (The Communist Times as I call them), I'm guessing it was taken out of context. Birotte has a tough job as the Department's Inspector General but he is really pro-police. He's backed us before in other controversial incidents so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here.
  24. PaulKersey

    PaulKersey New Member


    Nice job by all. Give the sniper a high-five for me.

    Rest in Peace, Randy!
  25. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    So far all I've heard is that he was armed with a .45 handgun and he knew how to use it. Both officers were hit in the face, one of the few places not protected by body armor or helmet. Not sure yet if he had any other weapons.

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