The Portland Police Bureau has released surveillance video from the St. Johns 7-Eleven parking lot where Officer Justin Clary shot Billy Wayne Simms with his AR-15 rifle last month. Simms, who was a suspect in an East Portland shooting, crashed into an apartment building across the street after Clary fired several bullets at him, killing him.
The video shows snippets of the confrontation that unfolded as officers tried to keep Simms from getting into his car and then driving away—culminating in Clary's decision to fire. What stands out most is how quickly the whole encounter turned deadly, a matter of seconds.
In 313 pages of grand jury transcripts (pdf) released Friday, Clary testified that he thought Simms—in that very short span—was reaching down for a weapon and was going to maybe raise his arm and point one at the officers. Simms did have a gun, but it was tucked into his waistband, still behind him, when his body was recovered. Clary was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the shooting.
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