Simba Lion, man involved in shootout with Monroe police, dies

Officers return fire, hit Lion

The scene where two Monroe police officers were shot Nov. 19, 2019. (WDIV)

MONROE, Mich. – Simba Lion, a man police say was involved in a shootout with officers in Monroe last month, died over the weekend.

According to police, Lion’s cause of death is unknown. Lion was shot during the confrontation with police Nov. 19.

What happened

Monroe police received a call at 9 a.m. Nov. 19 from a vendor who was doing work at the Washington Arms apartment complex at 725 Washington Street near South Monroe and East Sixth streets, Chief Charles McCormack said.

The vendor said Lion, 40, approached him while in possession of a handgun in a holster. McCormick said Lion and the vendor were involved in a physical assault of some kind.

Michigan State Police Lt. Brian Oleksyk said the vendor was trying to do work in one of the buildings at the complex when Lion had contact with him, sparking an argument.

Monroe police responded to the scene and tried to make contact with Lion in the hallway, Oleksyk said. Lion retreated back to his apartment, police said.

A struggle ensued and Lion pulled out a gun, according to authorities.

The scene where two Monroe police officers were shot on Nov. 19, 2019.

“The officers responded with a tactical response and made contact with the tenant somewhere in the hallway,” McCormick said.

McCormick said two Monroe police officers were struck in their legs. Officers returned fire and Lion was struck more than once, police said. It’s unclear if return fire was from the injured officers or the second pair of officers.

“There were two officers who originally responded first, and then sometime during that, another two responded," Oleksyk said. "It’s unclear, out of the four, how many of the four officers returned fire to the suspect.”

The officers were taken to Promedica Hospital, Oleksyk said. They were both treated and released Tuesday and are at home recovering, according to authorities.

“It’s tough,” McCormick said. “It’s a call you never want to get. Thankfully, they’re all going home.”

Officials took Lion to St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo. He is still listed in critical condition. Oleksyk said he required surgery.

One of the injured officers is a supervisor and has been with the department for 17 years, McCormick said. The other officer has been with the department for three or four years, he said.

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