DA: Shooting believed to be ‘drug-related’

By on October 8, 2014

Investigators this morning said the murder of 23-year-old Brett Simmons during a home invasion, double-shooting on Sept. 25 is believed to be drug-related.home shot tues

District Attorney Craig Stedman said Wednesday that the possible motive related to the Clay Township slaying was a robbery.

“We have reason to believe this was drug related and it is quite possible that robbery was a motive,” Stedman said in an e-mail

“While we have developed a number of leads, at this point we have developed no information to suggest this was random,” Stedman noted.

“However, we have not ruled out anything and are intentionally looking at all possibilities. Beyond that saying, anything further could compromise the investigation.”

Clay area residents had remained puzzled and frightened nearly two-weeks after the murder in which authorities have released few details.

“This not making me feel safe,” a mother of a teen daughter said last week.

Some Clay residents say they’re uneasy about the media reports and uncertainty in the investigation.

While neighbors, social media, and even the victim’s father James Simmons — who was confronted and shot by the intruders — suggest the Simmons home was targeted specifically, police refuse to say for certain.

Police have disclosed little about the shooting, including the weapons and caliber of the guns used.

Though Mr. Simmons told a reporter the shooters did not know Brett, he said the men went directly to Brett’s room and somehow presumed he had money in the home the family rented at 580 Clearview Road.

Simmons, a 2009 Ephrata High School graduate, was killed during a bold attack — in which Brett Simmons was shot at least once with an undisclosed weapon — that occurred less than a mile from the Northern Regional Police station.

His father James Simmons said the intruders entered the home through the garage. Police were alerted about the crime just after 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25.

The two shooters are believed to be white or light-skinned males. Police described the intruders as a young adult male, between 5’9” and 5’11”, with an average build; the other is a young adult male with dark eyes, blonde hair, about 5’9” and of average build.

Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the people responsible for killing Simmons.

According to his obituary, Brett Simmons received a degree in physical education in 2014 from HACC. Brett had previously attended Temple University in Philadelphia, recently worked at the Cork & Cap restaurant in Lancaster, and had aspirations to be a personal trainer.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer and editor for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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