SWAT vehicles sit in front of Edwin Rivera’s home on Welby Street on February 7, 2008 in the Winnetka neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Police detectives, arson investigators and firefighters are on scene sorting out what happened as veteran LAPD SWAT officers is killed and another injured during a violent 11-hour standoff with an armed shooter inside the house. Photo: Getty Images/Pool

Around 12:30 in the morning, LAPD SWAT officers escalate force to a “flash bang” grenade. The team hoped the loud and bright diversionary explosion would stun the shooter, and give them a tactical advantage. According to the LA Weekly, it didn’t work, because the shooter was down a hallway and well away from where the device landed inside the house on Welby Way. About 15 feet inside, the men, in heavy protective gear, were forced along a wall as they crept down a hallway  — at the end of which was gunman Edwin Rivera. Police say during the gunbattle, Rivera shot Veenstra, almost immediately, in the face and jaw, and that Simmons stepped in front of his injured colleague getting hit in the neck.

SWAT officers start sharing stories about the violent 11-hour standoff the morning after, while visiting Veenstra in the hospital. Simmons died there shortly after 1 a.m.

Click to hear 8:04 a.m. live report from Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

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.

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.

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