FALLEN TEAMMATES
James Choquette "Choke" OFFICER JAMES CHOQUETTE Serial No: 14818 Southeast Division Date Killed: Thursday, August 02, 1979 Officer Choquette was killed when his unmarked patrol car was struck by a drunk driver as he responded to the scene of a robbery call. Officer Choquette had served with the agency for 10 years. He was survived by his wife and two daughters. In honor of James, the Centurion offence breaks their huddle on the call of "Choke."
Manny Gutierrez "Manny" OFFICER MANNY GUTIERREZ Ser. No: 24654 Central Division Date Killed: Monday, December 12, 1988 Officer Gutierrez, Officer David Hofmeyer, and Officer Derrick Connor were killed in an automobile accident while responding to back up other officers who made an officer needs assistance call. The officers needing assistance were detectives making an auto-theft related arrest in downtown Los Angeles. Officer Gutierrez was survived by his parents.
Clarence Spence "Spence" OFFICER CLARENCE MARSHALL SPENCER, JR. Officer Spencer was appointed to the Department on March 27, 1989. After one year on the job, he became a member of the LAPD Centurions football team. During the next two years, "Spence," as he was known, worked hard and gave his all to help the Centurions become the 1991 National Police Football champs. During this time, he gained recognition as one of the team's most outstanding players. On May 4, 1991, while enjoying a weekend ride on his motorcycle, he was killed in an off-duty traffic accident. He was just 25 years old. "Spence" continues to be remembered by all of us for his good nature, for his sense of humor and for his smile, which will forever remain in our hearts and our memories. In honor of Clarence, the defense breaks their huddle on the call of "Spence."
Ricardo Lizarraga "Liz" OFFICER RICARDO LIZARRAGA Serial Number: 36046 Division: Newton Location: 1743 W. 48th St. Date Killed: Friday, February 20, 2004 Officer Lizarraga was shot and killed while investigating a domestic disturbance in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. He and his partner were flagged down by a woman while on patrol. The woman informed the two officers she was having problems with a friend and wanted him removed from her home. As the officers approached the man to search him, he pulled out a handgun and opened fire, striking Officer Lizarraga in the abdomen, below his vest. Officer Lizarraga's partner returned fire as the suspect fled the scene. Officer Lizarraga was transported to a local hospital where he died from his wounds approximately 2 hours later. The suspect was arrested about 3 hours after the shooting during a large manhunt. The shooter was a gang member who was on parole and had a long criminal history. The suspect attempted to hang himself in his cell a few hours after his first court appearance. He died the next day from the wounds he received in that attempt. Officer Lizarraga joined the LAPD on September 25, 2001 and graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy in April 2002. He worked patrol assignments in the 77th Street Area and one year later transferred to the Newton Area. He chose Newton because there he could use his fluent Spanish in the community. He felt it was a great privilege to be working a Z-Car Unit. Officer Ricardo Lizarraga was born on January 24, 1973 in Los Angeles, California, as the eldest son of Candolario and Cristina. He has a younger brother and two sisters. As a child, he was a "happy" little boy, picking up everything in sight and putting it in his mouth. Richardo played sports at Hamilton High School where he excelled in baseball and loved to play football. Although he was the biggest kid around, he hated fighting. He worked for Hughes Market for approximately 10 years as a clerk. Ricardo met his wife Joyce there, and they eventually married. Ricardo and Joyce enjoyed traveling. He would go to mom's for breakfast in the morning even after he got married. Ricardo was quite an athlete. He was excited about being on the LAPD football team - recently boasting about having bars on his nose from being driven into the ground face first. He also enjoyed football and pick-up games of basketball at the park or with his young cousins who loved to challenge him. Whenever he had a chance, he went golfing or running. Ricardo was a very thoughtful son. He always told his mom - "whatever you want, mom" and got it for her. To all of us, Ricardo was the "gentle giant" that we all love and miss dearly. Officer Lizarraga had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 2.5 years. He is survived by his wife, parents, brother, and two sisters.
Randy Simmons "Randy" OFFICER RANDALL SIMMONS Serial: 22885 Division: Metropolitan Location: 19828 Welby Way Date Killed: February 7, 2008 Officer Simmons joined the LAPD in 1980. In 1986 he went to Metropolitan Division and he joined SWAT in 1991. In 1994 he was promoted to Police Officer III+I and became an assistant squad leader. For the first 10 years of his career, Randy dedicated himself to the LAPD Centurions Football Team and the Blind Children's Center of Los Angeles. Randy was a dedicated teammate and leader. He was the heart and soul of the Centurion organization. Randy Simmons was proud to be a Centurion and made everyone who wore the Centurion uniform proud to be a part of the Centurion Football Team. On February 7, 2008, Officer III+I Randy Simmons was murdered as he and other members of the Los Angeles SWAT Team made entry into a home of a suspect who had called 911 and claimed to have murdered three family members. As the team entered the home, the suspect opened fire, striking officer Simmons and another officer. Officer Simmons became the first SWAT officer to be killed during a SWAT action. Officer Simmons had served with the Los Angeles Police Department for 27 years. Simmons, a married father of a teenage son and daughter, spent his off-hours mentoring youth in South Los Angeles -- a sign of how passionate he was about his work and the community where he had been a gang officer for years, colleagues said. Originally from New York, he had been a football player at Washington State University and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys. But an injury shortened his pro football career and he ended up in the LAPD police academy, and then as a patrol officer, starting in 1981. He worked Pacific Division, gang units in South Los Angeles, and then SWAT. Officer Simmons is survived by his wife, two children, parents, and three sisters.
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