Slain Kettering man wanted to be cop: ‘You certainly wouldn’t expect this’

A man killed in a shooting with Kettering police last weekend just days before had finished his second round of interviews in hopes of becoming a law enforcement officer in the city.

Mitchell Simmons had an “executive interview” May 1 with Police Chief Chip Protsman and two captains as the department looked to fill two vacancies, authorities said Tuesday.

Four days later, the 24-year-old Beavercreek High School graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Ohio University died after being shot by an unnamed Kettering officer.

RELATED: Police fatal shooting victim sought job as Kettering cop

“He had not received any news from us whatsoever,” Protsman said of Simmons. “There are several people who we’ve interviewed, obviously, and those interviews continue as of now. So there was no news that they received.”

Simmons was fatally shot Saturday night in his Chatham Village apartment by an officer responding to the report of a domestic dispute. Protsman said “it was a shock” to learn that the deceased was someone he had discussed the possibility of a job with a few days earlier.

“But it’s a very good example to the public that these police officers do not have any idea, one, who they’re dealing with, or two, the actions of somebody who they’re dealing with,” he said.

RELATED: New details emerge after Kettering man fatally shot by police

“Which is why they are trained to make sure they are controlling the situation,” Protsman added. “And it doesn’t matter who the person is. If they start taking for granted that a person is going to act a certain way, the officer or somebody else is going to get hurt.”

It was the second police-involved shooting – both of them fatal — in Kettering since August and the 10th in the region in the past year.

“I think around the country we’re definitely seeing a change in people’s behavior in how they’re responding to police officers, obviously,” Protsman. “I think this is just bad luck – incidents that just don’t happen very often.”

“Obviously, a person who wanted to be a police officer, you certainly wouldn’t expect this kind of behavior,” he added. “So things just happen sometimes.”

Simmons was among “multiple” job candidates who had passed a background check and a polygraph test, Protsman said.

RELATED: Kettering police shooting: 911 dispatchers praised for work under pressure

Late Saturday night, Simmons and the officer exchanged “multiple” rounds of gunfire after police responded to the apartment on Scarsdale Drive off Rahn Road, where the 2012 Beavercreek grad lived with his girlfriend, said Kettering Lt. Michael Gabrielson.

It is unclear at this point who shot first and how many rounds were fired, Gabrielson said. Kettering police have no record of responding to that address while Simmons lived there, Protsman said.

Gabrielson said he did not know how long Simmons and his girlfriend had known each other or how long they had been living together.

Police responded after a 911 caller said she heard a woman screaming.

The officer arrived at the apartment complex and forced entry into an apartment after hearing what police reports say were a woman’s cries for help. Simmons was killed when the officer returned fire, police said.

RELATED: Kettering police shooting: 911 caller describes violent encounter

Shortly after 11 p.m., “officers called to the residence by a neighbor advising of a possible male and female fighting,” the report states. “An officer arrived on scene and could hear the argument and advised dispatch he was forcing entry into the apartment. Gunfire was exchanged and first aid rendered. The male, suspect of the domestic violence, was pronounced deceased.”

Authorities “recovered multiple weapons inside the residence,” Protsman said.

The shooting will be the focus of criminal and internal investigations. “In the near future” the officer’s name will be released, Protsman said.

After the August fatal police shooting, a grand jury in December declined to charge Officer Jonathon McCoy, 27. He who shot and killed Jason Hoops, a passenger in a gray Ford van stopped Aug. 27, 2017, for a traffic infraction.

Protsman said then that 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.

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