Los Angeles-based production company 41D Film Partners, LLC is turning Randal Simmon’s life story into the movie Man of Valor: The Life, Death and Legacy of LAPD SWAT officer, Randy Simmons. The 27-year Los Angeles Police Department veteran and SWAT officers died on February 7, 2008 after a violent gunfight with a mentally-ill man in the Winnetka neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Police say Edwin Rivera called 911 around 9 p.m. to say he had shot his father and two brothers. Half past midnight, SWAT offers entered the house, because they believed the 20-year-old was holding more hostages. Rivera was armed and waiting. In a bloody gunbattle, Rivera shot SWAT officer James Veenstra in the face and jaw, and killed Simmons with a bullet to the neck. Shortly after 1 a.m., Simmons died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The 11-hour standoff ended when an LAPD sniper shot Rivera in the head.
Simmons, 51, nicknamed “The Deacon” was an ordained minister. He’s 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, and some ten thousand people attended his funeral at the Crenshaw Christian Center in South L.A. That summer, the Los Angeles Police Protective league spent $100,000 on 20 commemorative billboards that went up around the city to honor Simmons’ legacy with the LAPD.
Four years after his death, Simmons’ widow, Lisa Simmons wrote about her husband’s story in the book, “41D — Man of Valor,” named for Simmons’ police radio name. The moniker is the same for the production company of the film about the hero’s life.
The project website credits two major firearm companies as sponsors: Ruger and America’s longest-standing company, Smith & Wesson. It also features a video clip from a profile about Randal Simmons produced by NRATV, which links back to the media network – NRATV. The National Rifle Association bankrolls the website and uses it to broadcast original programming, including series, profiles and daily shows that discuss topical issues.
Salon magazine calls NARTV’s coverage an alternative to the mainstream media. Critics say major firearms are underwriting the streaming content, which amounts to provocative videos that cast liberals and the media as enemies of the state.
A website for Simmons’ book, “41D — Man of Valor,” posted a blog about tackling the movie industry saying, “I feel really good about it. A Great director attached to ‘The Project-41D Man of Valor.” But, no connection to the NRA was mentioned. Film production is scheduled to begin in 2017.
Hear live coverage the morning of SWAT officer Simmons’ death:
First live shot from Hospital
Second live shot from Hospital
Third live shot from Hospital
Four live shot from Hospital
Fifth live shot from Hospital