PORTLAND, Ore. - A man who was shot dead by police is believed to have been involved in an armed robbery at a medical marijuana grow, a shooting where shots were fired at a car and an incident involving menacing with a gun.
The officer-involved shooting happened Saturday afternoon in North Portland after police tracked down a suspect vehicle they believed had been involved in the crimes.
The armed robbery happened July 23 at a home at Southeast 104th and Division. Police say three suspects stole some marijuana plants at gunpoint and one of them fired off a shot at the house as they were leaving.
The man who lives at the home told KATU News that he grows 10 marijuana plants for one patient. He said he caught the three suspects, confronted them and that's when the shot was fired.
On July 28, someone fired shots at a car at Southeast 122nd and Division. Five people were in the car - a 47-year-old man and four others ranging in age from 14 to 23. No one was hurt.
The same day, just prior to the car shooting, there was a 'menacing with a gun' incident at a home at Southeast 141st and Division.
Police believe the man they shot and killed on July 28 was involved in all three crimes. Here is how that situation unfolded:
On July 28, police tracked down a suspect vehicle that was parked at a 7-Eleven store on North Fessenden Street. At that point, the situation turned even more serious as police tried to get the suspects to exit the vehicle.
"One person did get out of the car and cooperate but it was the driver who backed out and pulled away," said Lt. Robert King, spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau.
Witnesses said they then heard several shots. Police said one officer discharged a firearm.
The car ended up crashing into a nearby unoccupied apartment. At first, police did not know whether the suspect was still alive and still posed a threat, so they called in the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) to secure the area.
The suspect, identified as 28-year-old Billy Wayne Simms, was later determined to be deceased and police recovered a handgun from the car.
A week before this all happened, Simms was identified as a suspect who tried to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a McDonalds in Southwest Portland. Police say he was driving the same car that day (July 20) that he was later shot and killed in this weekend.
Simms also had an extensive criminal record beyond recent events.
Although police have spoken with numerous witnesses, they still want to hear from anyone who has further information about the case. You can contact Detective Rico Beniga at (503) 823-0457 or by e-mail if you know something that might help with the investigation.
What will happen next is that the case will go before a grand jury and the Portland Police Bureau will be conducting an Internal Affairs investigation, as they normally do when officers fire their weapons. The case will then be reviewed by the Police Bureau Review Board.
As far as the officer who fired the shots at Simms, he has been identified as Officer Justin Clary, a 10-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau who is assigned to the North Precinct.
Clary is no stranger to encounters with armed subjects. Back in March of 2011 he was one of several officers who were at the scene of a Southeast Portland standoff. One of his fellow officers was shot in the stomach during that incident and he provided cover fire from his AR-15 for the rescue. The officer who was hit was pulled to safety and survived.