Some members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT team still remember the 11-hour standoff in February 2008 like it was yesterday. Just before midnight, SWAT officers responded to a hostage call at a house in the West San Fernando Valley. At about 12:30 in the morning, senior SWAT officers James Veenstra and Randal Simmons were among the first to go inside. A few minutes later, LAPD says gunman Edwin Rivera opened fire hitting Veenstra in the face and Simmons in the neck. Veenstra survived, but Simmons died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center shortly after 1 a.m.

Click to hear 7:25 a.m. live report from Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

LAPD SWAT Officer James Veenstra, 51, was shot in the face and jaw by 20-year-old Edwin Rivera at Rivera’s Winnetka home. Photo: LAPD

Simmons’ widow, Lisa Simmons wrote about her husband in the book, 41D Man of Valor: The Story of SWAT Officer Randy Simmons. Major firearm companies Rugers and Smith & Wesson are financing the film about Simmons’ life Man of Valor: The Life, Death and Legacy of LAPD SWAT officer, Randy Simmons.

Randal Simmons, 51, is the first SWAT officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the elite Special Weapons and Tactics team since it began in 1967. Photo: LAPD/Twitter Feb. 7, 2008.


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