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Published: Saturday, May 05, 2018 @ 11:57 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 06, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
KETTERING — A 24-year-old man was fatally shot in an apartment late Saturday night by a Kettering police officer who was responding to a report of a woman yelling for help in an apparent case of domestic violence.
Tammy Hildebrecht said she lives across the parking lot from the apartment where Simmons was fatally shot. When the shots were fired, her husband knew it was gunshots and they looked out of their window, she said.
“All of the sudden, I heard Boom, boom, boom, boom and then a pause and then boom, boom, boom, boom,” Hildebrecht said. “At the time, we didn’t know who did the shooting, didn’t know the officer did the shooting but I’d say, a pause, then four shots.”
After the shots were fired, police cruisers came flying in from all directions, Hildebrecht said. Although it was dark, she she said she saw Kettering officers attempting to revive Simmons.
“I could see officers giving CPR, I’m a nurse, I understand CPR, they did what they could,” she said.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s office completed Simmons autopsy Monday and ruled his death a homicide. He died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the coroner.
Both the police officer, whose name was not released Sunday, and the man who was shot, Mitchell Simmons, fired their guns, said Kettering police Chief Chip Protsman.
Simmons died at the Chatham Village Apartments.
A dispatcher told a neighbor who called 911 that her call likely saved the woman.
“You did the right thing by calling. You probably saved her life,” a Kettering police dispatcher said.
Protsman said during a press conference Sunday an officer was sent about 11:10 p.m. to an apartment at 5114 Scarsdale Drive. The police officer had been dispatched to the apartment after a 911 caller who identified herself as a neighbor said she could hear a woman crying and screaming inside the apartment.
“There was a woman screaming very loudly. She was screaming ‘Help me! Help me!’ I can hear her and she kept screaming ‘Get off, get off I can’t breathe. You broke my nose, my nose is bleeding and I can’t breathe,’” the neighbor said.
The officer forcibly entered the apartment and once inside encountered Simmons, who had a gun, Protsman said. Almost immediately, the officer then reported: “Shots fired! Shots fired!” the 911 call recording shows.
The officer entered the apartment off East Rahn Road alone and was not injured. Protsman said he believes this was a case of domestic violence and said that the woman suffered minor injuries.
“One officer went upstairs … there was like eight shots fired,” the 911 caller said in her second, frantic call to police dispatchers. “Please tell me the officer’s OK.”
“Ma’am, the officer is OK … All of our people are OK,” a dispatcher told the woman.
The investigation is ongoing and no other information was made available. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave until the investigation is complete, which is the department’s protocol.
Saturday’s fatal shooting is the 10th officer-involved shooting in the region in the past year. It’s the second Kettering police-involved shooting in the past nine months.
Police officer Jonathon McCoy shot and killed Jason M. Hoops, 33, of Fairborn on Aug. 27, 2017, after a traffic stop of a gray Ford van he was riding in near Craig Drive and East Bataan Drive. McCoy was not indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury in December, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office.
Protsman has said McCoy acted properly by firing after giving 30 commands to the occupants to get out of the vehicle after the officer spotted a gun grip sticking out of Hoops’ pocket. Protsman said Hoops did not comply with McCoy’s instructions and the officer feared for his own safety.
Montgomery County Coroner’s Office released Simmons’ name and said an autopsy will be performed.
Police surrounded an apartment complex with yellow crime scene tape late Saturday night after reports of gunfire.
There was a heavy police presence at the complex off Scarsdale Drive in the city.
Residents reported hearing gunshots, but it’s not clear what led police to cordon off the area.
It’s also not clear whether anyone has been injured or arrested.
We are working to learn more information and will update this report as warranted.
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