11 January 2023- A man who originally filed a complaint about a lost sum of money and a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun is arrested after police allegedly find out his daughter and her friends had played with the loaded gun all afternoon. Gordon Errett Simmers Jr is behind bars on $40,000 bail after being charged with four counts of felony child endangerment and four counts of misdemeanor reckless endangerment.
Police were dispatched to a home on East Baltimore Street in the borough of Greencastle on January 6th to reports of a theft. Upon arrival, the complainant Gordon E Simmers Jr said that he had around $200-$300 stolen from his home as well as a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun. Simmers told police that he left for work around 4:20am that day and left his juvenile child at home. Simmers allegedly received a phone call from his neighbor around 1pm and was told his child has been at home all day and had not gone to school. Additionally, she invited multiple people to the home and they had been making an extreme amount of noise all day. It was at this point Simmers allegedly left work for home.
Upon arrival back at home, Simmers allegedly found multiple holes in the wall that were not there when he left for work and found security camera footage of 4 or 5 kids exiting his home before he got home.
Greencastle PD interviewed the 4 other kids and their parents at headquarters and it was allegedly found that the kids had been drinking Simmers’ alcohol all morning. The kids also allegedly walked into Simmers’ unlocked bedroom to get more alcohol but found an already packed bowl with marijuana in it and a loaded 9mm handgun. The handgun was found at the foot of the dresser laying in a clothes basket.
While drinking Simmers’ whiskey and smoking the marijuana, the kids allegedly started playing with the gun, wrestling over it. Additionally, they loaded it, taking the magazine and loading it and unloading it as well as allegedly placing the gun on one of their heads, saying that “it wasn’t loaded at the time so it was ok” in reference to the balancing act. Another child allegedly played with the gun, putting it against other kids’ temples and pulling the trigger. When asking about this conduct, the child allegedly replied “I had the safety on”. Police make note in court documents that Simmers’ daughter has substance abuse problems but he “is continuing to enable all of those items to be placed at his child’s fingertips”. The gun and money were allegedly found at one of the juveniles’ residences later.
Simmers is behind bars on $40,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for January 24th.
Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39305-CR-0000006-2023, Incident Number: 2023-01-00101