SWAT veteran, 4 others killed in shootout

lapd_badge_bar.jpgAn LAPD SWAT officer was killed and another badly hurt early this morning during a shootout with man who had killed three members of his family and blockaded himself inside a house in Winnetka, the LAPD blog says.

Officer Randal Simmons, the first SWAT officer killed in the line of duty in the unit’s nearly 40-year history – was 50 years old and the father of two. Not much info yet on the shooter and the other three victims …

The shootout followed a 3-1/2-hour standoff that began when the man – still unidentified – called 911 to say he had killed three relatives. He was found dead inside 12 hours later when the siege ended, the Times reports.

What is it with this country’s propensity for suicide preceded by multiple murders? Shocking, awful and sad. If you’re going to end your life or you want to end someone else’s (and nobody should, really) get some help. If you’ve decided you’re still unsaveable, at least take it somewhere private and leave the rest of us out of it.

More details forthcoming, to be sure.

UPDATE: Suspect, killed by a police sniper, is identified by the Daily News:

Edwin Rivera, 21, was identified as the shooter by two LAPD sources. He was described by one source as about 6 feet tall and about 300 pounds. He had two weapons, a shotgun and a handgun, LAPD Chief William Bratton said at a noon news conference.

He killed his father, Gerardo Rivera, and two older brothers, Andy and Edgar, relatives said.

There might have been one more person killed, but that remains unclear, Bratton said.

A woman who eventually left the house alive was Rivera’s step-mother, said a cousin, Alex Uribe. The father and brothers worked for a trucking company. His father was a Salvadoran immigrant.

The incident began about 9 p.m. when Rivera called police to say he had killed three family members. It is unclear what led to the incident, or why the other three men were killed inside the house.

A police dispatcher late Wednesday night was overheard saying Rivera told police, “Come get me.”

McDonnell said SWAT officers entered the residence shortly after 12:30 a.m., triggering an exchange of gunfire in which Simmons and Veenstra were shot.

14 thoughts on “SWAT veteran, 4 others killed in shootout”

  1. I don’t think the shooter was suicidal. It sounds like he made every effort to avoid capture or death, until he was ultimately shot by police.

  2. Times is now reporting he was killed by a police sniper.

    I guess I took this as a classic “suicide by cop” scenario, but perhaps I’m wrong.

    In any case, killing three of your relatives rarely ends in peaceful surrender. I guess I’m railing against the all-too-American phenomenon of multiple murder. We’ve been at it for too long as a culture, and I’m wishing – fruitlessly, of course – that there were a way for it to stop.

  3. do you think it’s a cultural thing? Maybe Im painting with broad strokes, but I always feel that the East is more prone to think
    “I’ve failed, I will commit suicide”

    Where the west is more

    “Society failed, I want retribution”

    Maybe not, just a thought.

  4. Even with all the gunplay I think it still reads as a suicide by cop, even if at some point he might have changed his mind. He called the police. Said, “Come get me,” according to the Daily News.

    I think it’s safe to say that people who murder their family members, call the police to taunt them and then shoot it out with a SWAT team aren’t what you might call “in their right minds”.

    I doubt he had much beyond the barest bones of a plan, most of which was probably made up of paranoid fantasies.

    They pulled one person alive out of there before they took him out, so maybe we’ll get a better idea later on.

  5. It’s always a sad day when we lose an officer. My sympathies to his family and friends.

  6. I don’t know the brand of armor they’re wearing these days but a common problem with any type is that in order to move you’re going to have exposed areas. Otherwise you’re going to look like the kid in A Christmas Story who can’t put his arms down.

    Two of the most vulnerable, and the worst to get hit in, are the neck and under the arms. Take out that brachial artery, for example, and it’s pretty much over.

    When it comes down to it the guy got lucky shots. Between them the two officers had over 40 years experience. These guys are trained to enter in such a way that it reduces exposure of the vulnerable areas, but there’s no way to be fully protected. I can’t believe that they did anything that wasn’t by the numbers.

  7. I’ve had to copy and paste a flood of condolence notes tonight and it seems that Officer Simmons was highly well-regarded and liked, not just within the department, but within his own community. Its hard to be a hardened, distanced journalist when you read through so many kind notes.

  8. Bless you Darleene, for the kind-hearted effort of copying and pasting the condolences. While doing so may not be written in your job spec, it certainly is etched in your heart.

    Thank God for heroes like Officer Simmons. His daily work at a voluntary assignment insulated us from those hell-bent on doing harm.

    Please take a moment to remember Randal and those like him, who stand as a sword against the darkest evils….and then please join me in giving until it stings just a little.

    Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

    Brian Humphrey
    Public Service Officer
    Los Angeles Fire Department

  9. While my heart goes out to the family of the fallen officer and injured officer. I want to remind everyone that there were 4 other tragedy’s that day. A brother now has to bury his 3 younger brother and father. So where is the media coverage on that? Where is the trust fund for the Rivera family. My brother was close to Endi (which this artile printed as Andy) and everyone is in pure shock and denial over this.

    RIP Endi!!! My condolences to you all!

    Lets take a moment to remember the father and his sons that were murdered. Lets remember the father who struggled to raise 4 sons on his own. Lets remember the 2 boys that no longer have a moment to live becuase their brother took their last moment.

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