The Los Angeles Police Department is mourning its first officer to be killed in combat in Afghanistan after a roadside bomb took the life of a highly regarded SWAT team member.
Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, 45, and a 19-year-old Marine were killed while traveling in the Marja area of southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, on the Pakistani border. The region has been the focus of an intense U.S.-led offensive against Taliban forces, said LAPD Capt. John Incontro, who oversees SWAT operations.
The Marines' armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb Wednesday, killing Cottle and Lance Cpl. Rick Centanni and seriously wounding two others, according to police sources and media accounts.
A veteran of two tours in Iraq, Cottle had deployed to Afghanistan in August and was scheduled to return home this summer. He leaves a wife and 8-month-old daughter.
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