Annapolis police: Officers shoot, kill stabbing suspect

Police shot and killed William Brown. (Courtesy of Annapolis Police)

WASHINGTON – Police in Annapolis say an officer shot a man to death after he fatally stabbed a woman.

Officers were called early Tuesday to the 1900 block of Copeland Street where police say witnesses reported seeing 31-year-old William Brown stab the woman, identified as 29-year-old Ronnesha Simms in a parking lot.

“Neighbors heard a fight, heard some screaming, called for help, it was apparent that a man was beating a woman,” says Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop.

Police had a response time of about one minute, but it was not quick enough to save the life of Simms, who police say was on the ground screaming for help. When officers arrived, police say Brown came out of a home with a knife and was shot as he approached Simms and officers. But police say Brown was able to stab Simms at least one more time before he was shot.

“Mr. Brown was able to stab Ms. Simms one more time in front of the officer,” Pristoop says. “It appears that he was shot, but again stabbed her.”

Brown was well known to police, Pristoop says.

“We are familiar with Mr. Brown, we have arrested him a number of times — upward of 10 times in Annapolis,” Pristoop says.

Brown received a suspended sentence last year for assaulting Simms. He was also on a special probation, violence prevention initiative — a status reserved for violent offenders.

Simms was the mother of at least one of Brown’s children. Two children were inside the residence when the incident occurred.

Simms was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. She died from multiple stab wounds. Brown died after being shot at least five times.

The officer who fired the shots has not yet been named and he’s been placed on administrative leave, which is routine. Pristoop says the officer, a 14-year veteran, was involved in another fatal shooting several years ago in a SWAT team operation.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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