Simon Halley Buckles, Reported Shot Dead by Cop in June, Committed Suicide: Coroner
That was based on the account of Fullerton Police Sgt. Jeff Stuart, but according to the Orange County coroner 27-year-old Buckles committed suicide.
The coroner's findings were consistent with what witnesses reported seeing that June 12 evening at the clothing company where Buckles had worked, according to the deceased man's father.
"We did not find out [until] days later, from witnesses, that Simon fired his gun only once at himself," said Ron Buckles from his home in Newport News, VA. "I can fully understand why the police officers felt they had to fire their weapons."
Andrew Buckles, Simon's brother, had told the Weekly two days after the June 12 shooting that the troubled man essentially "suicided by cop."
Police Sgt. Stuart said back in June his department's officer responded to the call about a business owner being attacked by an employee. The attacker was gone when the officer arrived but returned carrying a handgun which, according to Stuart, he lifted and pointed at the cop.
"As he approached, the suspect then pointed the handgun in the direction of the officers and other victims," Stuart said at the time, adding the officer responded by shooting the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene. His handgun was recovered.
The next day, Stuart identified the gunman as Simon Buckles and said the officer fired because he feared for his life and the lives of others nearby. The case was handed over to the Orange County District Attorney's office, which routinely investigates officer-involved shootings.
Buckles' death certificate from the county coroner follows on the next page.