Police, sheriff release body-camera footage of fatal shootout in August

14839
Brian Simmons walks into the street to greet officers arriving in response to a noise complaint on Simmons' property. Moments later, the situation escalated. After an exchange of gunfire, Simmons was dead. [Still photo from Maricopa Police Department body-camera video]

The Maricopa Police Department and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday jointly released body-worn camera footage from three officers as well as footage from two drones in connection with an Aug. 29 incident that ended in the death of Brian Simmons after an exchange of gunfire with officers.

_________________________

To view video, click ‘Watch on YouTube below.

_________________________

PCSO led the investigation into the incident at Simmons’ house in the 43900 block of West McCord Drive. Pinal County Assessor’s records show Simmons was owner of the home.

These critical-incident videos — those that demonstrate some stage of a request for service, law-enforcement response, contact with subject or medical response to an incident involving Maricopa Police officers — show a rapidly escalating environment outside Simmons’ home.

Brian Simmons high-fives a Maricopa Police officer. [Still photo from Maricopa Police Department body-camera video]
Simmons had a history of bizarre behavior around the city and police had been called to his home numerous times, so many that the videos show officers greeting him by name when they arrive at about 10:30 a.m. in response to a noise complaint.

They show officers’ initial contact with Simmons, 38, who is in his driveway, strewn with his belongings, loud music blaring.

Simmons and his dog walk out to the middle of the street, where several police vehicles are parked.

An officer greets him, “Brian! How are you?”

Simmons high-fives an officer as another is heard saying to him, “How’s it going, Brian?”

Simmons elbow-bumps an officer and says to another, “Give me a hug.”

Brian Simmons chats with a Maricopa Police officer across the street from Simmons’ house on Aug. 29. [Still photo from Maricopa Police Department body-camera video.]
Then, within seconds, the situation takes a turn. Simmons walks back to his driveway. He picks up a firearm but does not appear to point it at officers.

Officers can be heard commanding, “Hey Brian, put that down!” and, “Drop the gun!”

The commands are repeated several times. Simmons eventually places the gun on the driveway and raises his hands.

Officers notify the neighborhood to shelter in place. The Maricopa Unified School District is alerted and places Butterfield Elementary School, a block away, on lockdown as a precaution.

Simmons refuses several more commands, including to get down on the ground. Eventually, an officer fires a non-lethal round and appears to hit Simmons. Despite commands to not enter his house, he ignores them and goes inside.

Brian Simmons picks up a handgun in his driveway and initially ignores commands to put it down as officers react. [Still photo from Maricopa Police Department body-camera video]
Moments later, Simmons comes around to a side yard from the back of the house and fires one shotgun round. No one is hit. Police respond with a flurry of gunfire, at least 22 shots fired. There is a long silence.

Eventually, drones are deployed and show Simmons on the ground.

A flash-bang is fired and lands within feet of where Simmons lies at 1:15 p.m., evidently an attempt by officers to determine whether he is still alive. He does not move.

At about 1:30 p.m., members of the Pinal County Regional SWAT Team, called to assist Maricopa PD, cautiously approach the side gate and peer over the top. They see Simmons’ body.

The Pinal County Medical examiner has yet to release the cause of Simmons’ death.

The Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the officer-involved shooting is active and ongoing, it says.

Simmons was taken into custody two weeks before his death after rushing past the front desk at Copper Sky Gym complex and beginning to work out despite not having a paid membership. He was charged with criminal trespass and theft of services and booked into Pinal County Jail.

He had been involved in a similar trespassing incident at the gym on March 19.

Two days before his death, at about 9:20 a.m. on Aug. 27, Simmons was seen shirtless in northbound lanes 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 several 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.

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.

Family members in Idaho have contacted InMaricopa since the incident, painting a different picture of Simmons. They say he once went on mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had a generous heart, gave to others less fortunate and was happy, fun loving and hard working.

Records show Simmons filed suit in 2014 alleging Battelle Energy Alliance in Idaho knowingly exposed workers to radiation at an Idaho nuclear facility, where he once worked as a “nuclear operator,” regularly handling plutonium and other radioactive materials.

Simmons alleged he was exposed to “radioactive dust” while repackaging fuel plates at the Idaho National Laboratory on Nov. 8, 2011. He and other workers came across damaged plates wrapped in plastic and tape. Simmons alleged he was told to repackage the plates but stopped when he saw “black powder falling from the wrapped fuel plate.”

“The events precipitated an uncontrolled release of radioactive material, resulting in the contamination of 16 workers and the facility,” Simmons said in his lawsuit.

Family members have said they believe his exposure to radioactive Plutonium-239, a carcinogen, caused Simmons’ personality change.

1 COMMENT