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Gunman's Brother Offers Condolences to Downed LAPD SWAT Officer's Family

February 20, 2008  | 

Wilfredo Rivera doesn't know why his brother shot and killed LAPD SWAT Officer Randal Simmons after first killing three family members, but he offered his condolences to the officer's family yesterday.

Rivera, 27, is married and does not live in the house where his brother Edwin, 20, killed his father Gerardo, 54, and brothers Edgar, 21, and Endi, 25, before calling 911 and confessing to the murders.

When the LAPD SWAT unit responded and entered the house, police say Edwin Rivera fired on officers and shot and killed SWAT Officer Simmons. Officer James Veenstra was shot in the face and is currently recovering at home following surgery.

Simmons' family says the officer received the fatal bullet when he stepped in front of Veenstra to prevent him from being shot a second time.

For his part, Wilfredo Rivera does not know what to make of what happened. He says his brother was depressed, but has no explanation for his actions. "The family is at a loss," Rivera told the L.A. Times. "We are grief-stricken."

Simmons' mother, Constance, told KABC TV she forgives the gunman because that is what her son would want.

Tags: Duty Deaths, LAPD

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Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Team APCUSA @ 2/20/2008 6:00 PM

It is sad for the loss of our fellow operators but some where we can find the strength and heartfelt apologies from the family members as they are saddened by this tragedy. It takes a lot for a family member who's brother, sister or any family member took place in a horrific event but they are able to step up and try to give some comfort in these sad days. I thank the family for sending their condolences
Jose Medina

Aandreatjcb @ 2/23/2008 6:49 AM

These Police men and woman are the absalute backbone of this country. Its those people who keep us safe, and when I hear of any police dyeing for our safety, it makes me even more proud to be an a American, and sad that he is gone...Thank you
Andrea-Denver CO

MIBailiff @ 2/23/2008 9:36 AM

Wilfredo Rivera has something his brother lacked: character. May their family find peace and healing. Randall Simmons was the epitome of character. The LAPD will hopefully note that when they present him posthumously with their highest honor. Our prayers are with the Simmons and Veenstra families.

Gregory Saffady
Michigan District Court Officer/Bailiff
Director, MIBailiff Group

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