Ryan O. Simms is the man who was shot dead by Miami cops on South Beach on the night of January 11. Simms stabbed a police officer, a Miami Police Department press release said. The officer who was stabbed was named as Officer Ricardo Castillo. Simms is the father of Dimitri Simms aka Meechy Darko of the Flatbush Zombies.
In a series of tweets that began around 9:00 p.m. local time on January 11, the Miami Police Department said that the areas around Ocean Drive and 9 Street and 11 Street had been closed to the public. The Twitter account then said that a police officer had been stabbed and was in stable condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. The scene was then described as “contained.”
1. Darko Has Paid an Emotional Tribute to His Father
On his Instagram page, Darko paid an emotional tribute to his father. Darko said that since the shooting, his “heart is shattered” and that he had, “Never ever in my life felt pain like this before.” During his tribute, Darko added, “I want to spread this message. To Any and everyone out there dealing with Mental illness. Please get help.”
Darko added that despite the fact that he and his father “clashed about everything under the sun” they also “laughed about everything under the sun.” Darko also wrote, “Everything we been through was just training for my future. Thank you for preparing me. For whatever lies Ahead.”
2. In 2017, Simms Said That He Was ‘Proud & Motivated’ By His Son’s Success
Simms identified himself as Darko’s father in several Facebook posts. In June 2017, Simms posted a photo of him with his son as a youth. Simms wrote in the caption, “A great time in my life. It is even greater seeing the growth 27 years later. I love you son and is proud and motivated by your success. Also big up to the best baby mother Debra.”
Darko is a member of the Flatbush Zombies alongside Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott.
Simms was described as a “gentle giant with a soothing soul” by friend Anne-Marie Malcolm on Facebook. Other messages indicated that Simms was graduated from Midwood High School in 1988 in Brooklyn, New York. Another friend wrote of Simms, “RIP my brother N childhood friend Ryan Simms.. Well mannered..Well-spoken gentleman!! It was my pleasure knowing you!! Blessings to your family..May peace be amongst them..??❤?? AMEN.”
3. Simms Was Shot At Least 20 Times by Officers
Video from the scene shows Simms being shot at least 20 times by two officers. Simms died at Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Miami police said. The Miami Herald, citing a police source, said that the altercation began around 9:00 p.m. when an officer was stabbed by a man he was talking to on 10th Street and Ocean Drive, across the street from the Clevelander South Beach Hotel.
Police later said that they were called to Mango’s Cafe on South Beach after the restaurant’s security said that Simms had been brandishing a knife and threatening staff. Surveillance video backed up the police statements.
A report from TMZ said that the suspect stabbed Castillo after he had been tased. When he was subdued, TMZ reports that four cops surrounded Simms, which is when the stabbing took place. That’s when Simms was shot dead. He was 49 years old.
4. Simms Had No Criminal Record in Florida
NBC Miami reports that Simms has an out-of-state arrest on his record but no criminal record in Florida.
5. Officer Castillo Is a Decorated Officer Who Previously Was With the Florida Highway Patrol
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber told the Herald that as of the morning of January 11, Castillo was alert and was in “good spirits,” surrounded by friends and family. The shooting is being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Castillo is a decorated officer who formerly served with the Florida Highway Patrol.
A witness to the scene told WSVN, “I was on the corner, literally about to walk on the street, when the shots rang out so we ran around the corner into the alley, because we didn’t know if it was police or, like, just a citizen.”