Thursday, February 7, 2008

On Randy Simmons and Shaquille O'Neal

I don't think Shaq would object at Simmons getting top billing in this blog post.

If you're not familiar with the name, Randy Simmons was the LAPD SWAT officer who died overnight in a shooting. Current reports are that a gunman shot three members of his family and continued to act strangely, which is why SWAT was called to the scene. Simmons was shot and died, and another SWAT officer was shot and expected to live. I was amazed to learn that Randy Simmons was the first LAPD SWAT officer to be shot and killed in the line of duty, despite the LAPD SWAT unit having been in existence for over 30 years. More at It's a Crime and Wise Hand Poker.

Or this, from the LAPD blog:

February 07, 2008
Shortly, after 9:00 last night, the Los Angeles Police Department's Communications Division received a 911 call from a home in West Valley in the 19000 block of Welby Way. The caller indicated he had killed 3 of his family members. West Valley Patrol Units responded to conduct an investigation.

The suspect refused to leave the home and LAPD SWAT was called to the scene.

Around 12:30 this morning, SWAT made entry into the home and an exchange of gunfire between the officers and the suspect occurred. Two veteran SWAT officers were shot, removed from the home and rushed to Northridge Medical Center. The incident at the home in West Valley is still ongoing, and for that reason there will be no more tactical information released at this time.

Despite the efforts of the Los Angeles Fire Department and hospital personnel, one of the officers passed away just after one'clock this morning. The other officer was seriously wounded but will survive. The names of the officers will not be released until all of their family members have been notified.

The members of the Los Angeles Police Department are deeply saddened this morning having lost a member of their family. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these two brave officers. Both have served this city for more than 25-years and have been a part of SWAT for 20 of those years.

The concept of SWAT originated in the late 1960s, and became fully operational in 1971 when personnel were assigned on a full-time basis to Metropolitan Division. Until this morning, no SWAT officer had been killed in the line of duty despite thousands of incidents this elite unit has responded to in thirty plus years. The only other SWAT Officer to have died on duty was Officer Lou Villalobos, who died during a training accident in March 2000.

Lieutenant Ruben De La Torre

As for Shaquille O'Neal, he is now officially a Phoenix Sun. It strikes me as strange that O'Neal, who was (if I recall correctly) previously named as one of the 50 best players from the first 50 years of the NBA, is now on his fourth team. More at Alibata Entertainment and Sports and Steamy Sports.

By the way, O'Neal's police experience is detailed here and here. But I can't see him going undercover in physical contact situations; he kinda sorta stands out. We'll have to see if he hooks up with the Phoenix police upon his arrival.

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