Robert J. Cottle, 45
He was a very, very special guy. He is going to be missed.
— John Incontro, LAPD Captain
A member of the Los Angeles Police Department’s elite SWAT unit, Cottle was the first officer to be killed in combat in Afghanistan. Cottle, who served in the U.S. Marine reserves, was traveling in the Marja region when his armored vehicle struck a roadside bomb. The explosion killed him and another Californian, Marine Lance Cpl. Rick J. Centanni, 19, of Yorba Linda, and seriously wounded two others. Cottle was a veteran of two tours in Iraq and had deployed to Afghanistan in August. He was scheduled to return home this summer. He leaves a wife and 8-month-old daughter.