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Edwin Rivera, 20

Edwin Rivera (2008-02-07)

Edwin Rivera, 20, a Latino man, was shot and killed by a sniper in a police standoff at 19828 Welby Way in Winnetka shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7. 

According to police, Edwin Rivera has been identified as the suspected shooter in the killing of his father, Gerardo Rivera, 54, and two brothers, Endi Rivera, 25, and Edgar Rivera, 21. All three were declared dead at the scene, police said.

In addition, Edwin Rivera allegedly shot two veteran SWAT officers, killing Officer Randal Simmons, 51, and critically injuring Officer James Veenstra, 51, who is recovering from surgery at Northridge Medical Center.

At a news conference Friday, Deputy Chief Gary Brennan said Edwin Rivera was experiencing mental health problems, which became "progressively worse" after the death of his mother when he was 10 or 11 years old. His mother had died of cancer, KCAL 9 reported.

Police said Edwin Rivera was not a gang member, although he had a juvenile criminal record that included three convictions. The most serious came in 2004, when he was found guilty of assault with a firearm and sentenced to probation for pointing an unloaded gun at other men during an argument, police said.

Between 2005 and 2006, police responded to minor disturbances at the house. In one incident two years ago, there was a drive-by shooting near the residence, but police said Edwin Rivera was not involved.

A blaze had started when tear-gas canisters were fired into the house to flush out Edwin Rivera. A police sniper fatally shot him as he came out of the burning home, still shooting. 

-- Richard Winton and Joel Rubin

Photo: LAPD SWAT officers gather on Vanowen Street a few blocks away from where a man was found dead in his home after a 12-hour standoff. A SWAT officer was killed along with three males thought to be the suspect's relatives. Credit: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times

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