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About the Image: For Randal Simmons, being an officer was more than just a job. It was a calling. He was passionate about making a difference in the community. He had worked in LAPDs gang squad, and had spent twenty years on the elite SWAT team.
Simmons was at home with family when the call. Patrol officers had responded to a home in West Valley Division after a man called 911 and claimed to have shot three people. The suspect was still inside and refusing to surrender, and the officers at the scene believed some of the victims might still be alive.
Simmons gathered his family for a prayer and then left. It was a familiar ritual. Phone rings, he goes out and gets the bad guy, he comes home. His children had grown to be teenagers without ever having seen him do anything else. This time he didn't come home.
When SWAT is called into a situation, it means its already gone beyond what the regular police can handle. When SWAT is sent in a house, it means more than likely someone is going to die. Everyone on the team knows this, no one more so than guys breaking in.
Simmons was among the SWAT unit members who broke through the front door. He was struck in the neck by a round that lodged in his brain stem and was pronounced dead about 1 a.m. that day at a nearby hospital.
Simmons is survived by his wife and two children.