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The City Mourns and Hopes

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, February 07, 2008, at 11:20PM
LAPD Half Mast Ed Fuentes

This morning, flags around a quiet Downtown were flown at half staff in honor of fallen Officer Randal Simmons, who was mortally wounded around 12:30 am Thursday morning when his S.W.A.T. unit entered a West Valley home.

In that same exchange of gunfire, officer James Veenstra was wounded in the jaw, requiring emergency surgery. Captain Michelle Veenstra, who oversees LAPD’s Central Division with Captain Jodie Wakefield, is the wife of James Veenstra.

“It’s excruciatingly painful in a very personal way,” said 9th District Councilwoman Jan Perry, who along with others from LAPD and City Hall visited family who have been watching over Veenstra since early this morning.

“We need to provide support in any manner possible,” adds Perry. The outpouring of support for the families of the fallen Simmons, who spent hours mentoring youth in South Los Angeles, and the injured Veenstra, has prompted the Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union to form trust funds in their name.

Those in Downtown who have walked the Skid Row Neighborhood Walk or partnered with LAPD understand the important role these officers play in the rebirth of our neighborhood. Our prayers go out to Captain Veenstra as we hope for the speedy recovery of her husband.

LA Observed links to other coverage.

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