A man who was found dead in his backyard Monday afternoon after shooting at police and barricading himself inside his Villages at Rancho El Dorado home for 2 hours has been identified as Brian Simmons, who has a history of bizarre behavior around the city.
Simmons, 39, is the man who was taken into custody two weeks ago after rushing past the front desk at Copper Sky Gym complex and beginning his workout despite not having a membership. He was charged with criminal trespass and theft of services and booked into Pinal County jail. He had been involved in a previous trespassing incident at the gym on March 19.
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This past weekend, at about 9:20 a.m. on Saturday, Simmons was seen shirtless in the northbound number 3 lane of John Wayne Parkway near West Alterra Parkway, throwing his shirt at passing vehicles. Simmons was also observed making sporadic movements toward the moving vehicles, causing multiple to swerve. Soon after, Simmons was seen sprinting northbound down the sidewalk on Plainview Street as Maricopa Police followed in cruisers before crossing Honeycutt Road toward his home.
Neighbors who asked not to be identified said Simmons had a history of walking up and down their street, throwing his clothes and yelling obscenities.
A drone photo of his property taken Monday morning showed debris scattered around the exterior of the home.
His Facebook page was filled with obscenity-laced posts and photos with obscene gestures. He repeatedly posted that he was going to take on Conor McGregor, an Irish professional mixed martial arts fighter, who is former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight and lightweight champion. Simmons also made repeated threats toward nationally known podcaster Joe Rogan.
Simmons’ page said that he is from Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Records at the Pinal County Assessor’s office show Simmons was owner of the home in the 43900 block of West McCord Drive, where Maricopa Police were called Monday morning on a complaint of loud music.
When officers arrived, Simmons went inside his garage and then retreated into the house, according to officers.
“He retreated from the garage into the house, and gunshots were exchanged after he started firing at officers,” said MPD spokesman Sgt. Hal Koozer. “He barricaded himself in the house.”
The Pinal County Regional SWAT Team, called to assist Maricopa PD, dispatched two BearCat SWAT vehicles along with several SWAT officers and a communications vehicle, used in an attempt to make contact with Simmons.
At approximately 1:30 pm., Pinal County Regional SWAT Team members approached the residence and located the suspect deceased in his yard.
“They did a great job,” Koozer said of the SWAT team. “They got into the house and found the subject deceased in the backyard.”
Maricopa officers also deployed a drone to assist them during the standoff.
Simmons’ home is just a block from Butterfield Elementary School, which was placed on lockdown during the incident as a precaution. There was no direct threat to the school and there were no injuries on campus.
At 1:16 p.m. a loud boom could be heard in the area.
Koozer said officers believe cause of death was a gunshot, but they do not yet know if it was officer-inflicted or self-inflicted, however, the Pinal County Medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
No officers were injured, according to Koozer.
Maricopa Police closed the surrounding area to traffic and encouraged residents in the area to stay in their homes.
The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation into the officer-involved shooting. The investigation is active and ongoing.