Raleigh businessman shot to death; suspect and police officer taken to WakeMed for gunshot injuries

Suspect and officer taken to hospital

ajames@newsobserver.comNovember 25, 2012 

— Police have yet to disclose the connection that brought together two men outside of an auto parts store on Friday afternoon, where they say one shot the other and later shot a police officer before officers returning fire wounded him.

Officers were called to the parking lot in front of a Carquest store at 2635 East Millbrook Road shortly after 2 p.m. They found 53-year-old Jay Gould Simmons, called “Jody” by his friends, dead in his pickup, according to police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Matthew Durwood Calton, also 53, has been charged with murder and police say additional charges will be filed. Simmons and Calton knew one another, and the incident was not a random act, according to Sughrue.

“It’s awfully, awfully hard to believe,” said Simmons’ uncle Pat Simmons, who was notified about the shooting by Simmons’ sister on Friday night.

Simmons was involved in several business enterprises. He was a licensed real estate auctioneer and owned several properties in Wake County. Simmons also owned his own plumbing company, Custom Plumbing, that he operated out of his house at 5809 Coffey Road, near Knightdale.

“He had a heart attack and didn’t go out a lot except for with his wife sometimes,” Pat Simmons said Saturday.

Neighbor Marianne Pair was also in disbelief. She said Simmons had a strong personality, and she did not have a close relationship with him, although they lived next to each other for 15 years. She said she had not seen Simmons since Thursday. He was married and had one son and a step-daughter.

Neither Pair nor Simmons had ever heard of Calton.

Calton had not been transported to jail by Saturday evening. He was being treated for injuries at WakeMed.

Following the afternoon shooting at Carquest, police said, they gathered enough information to identify him as the suspect, and they tracked him to a parking lot behind the Creedmoor Crossing shopping center in North Raleigh shortly before 8:30 p.m.

Shopping center locked down

Police notified business owners in the Creedmoor Crossing shopping center to lock their doors and stay in the buildings. Restaurant owner Yousef Howa, who owns Tarbouch, said a police officer came into his store and told him to lock his back door and stay in the building.

“I saw lots of police lights on my security camera,” Howa said. His camera did not capture the shooting, however.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Calton approached two officers at the scene and fired a shotgun, according to Sughrue.

One of the officers, M.M. Harmon, was struck in the arm by the shots, Sughrue said. Harmon and Officer D.B. Moreland returned fire, and Calton was struck in the torso and taken into custody, Sughrue said.

Both Harmon and the suspect were transported to WakeMed. As of Saturday evening, Harmon was listed in good condition. Calton was listed in fair condition.

Calton lived less than a mile from where the shooting took place, at 7001 Creedmoor Road.

An arrest warrant has been obtained charging Calton with murder, Sughrue said, and additional charges are pending. Calton will be taken to jail when his condition improves.

As police department policy requires, the State Bureau of Investigation will investigate the shooting involving an officer. When completed, the investigation will be reviewed by the Wake County District Attorney.

The Raleigh Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit is conducting an administrative investigation into the incident, and the two officers directly involved will be placed on administrative duty, which is standard procedure in any shooting involving an officer.

Harmon has been employed by the Raleigh Police since Jan. 7, 2005, and Moreland was hired Jan. 30, 2012. The officers are assigned to the Field Operations Division.

News researcher Brooke Cain contributed.

James: 919-553-7234

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