The family of a man who murdered two Miami-Dade police officers before being killed said Friday their son felt he had no choice but to go down in a hail of bullets.
Johnny Simms was killed at his mother's house in Liberty City on Thursday after he began shooting at cops who arrived at the Liberty City apartment to serve a warrant for his arrest.
"As I watched my son lying outside dying, my son told me, 'Mama, they were going to kill me anyway,' and he felt like he had no choice," Lorraine Simms told the Miami Herald. The grieving mother was inside the house as the shootout began.
Simms managed to kill Officers Roger Castillo and Amanda Haworth before his shooting rampage was halted by Officer Oscar Placencia. Simms, 22, was wanted for an October murder and was considered a career criminal by law enforcement.
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus called the cop killer "evil" during an emotional press conference announcing the deaths of the fallen officers.
Lorraine Simms disagreed with that sentiment.
"I am sorry for whatever officers that went down, but my son was not an evil man," she said.
As family and friends of Haworth and Castillo try to pick up the pieces from Thursday's shooting, the Simms family was also literally trying to clean up the bloodshed. Simms told theMiami Herald she was still cleaning up blood from her son and the fallen officers.
Other relatives made a vigil at the site of the shooting, with signs asking for peace in the neighborhood.