Thousands Begin Packing Church For Funeral of Slain SWAT Officer

Hundreds of police officers from around the country and other mourners are arriving at a huge Los Angeles church for the funeral of slain SWAT team member Randal Simmons.

The 10.000-seat Crenshaw Christian Center Faithdome is expected
to be completely filled.

Simmons' body arrived at the church in a white hearse escorted by dozens of motorcycle officers.

Simmons was killed last week as he and other officers tried to stop a gunman who had gone berserk and slain several family members
inside a house in the San Fernando Valley.

He was the LAPD's first SWAT officer to die in the line of duty since the unit was formed in 1967. Simmons had been with the elite unit for 20 years and was the group's second-highest ranking member.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-02-15-08 1246EST

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