Estranged boyfriend suspected in Tacoma teen’s death turns himself in

Mar 27, 2024, 3:43 PM

Image: A Tacoma teen was shot outside her Tacoma Hilltop area apartment over the weekend....

A Tacoma teen was shot outside her Tacoma Hilltop area apartment over the weekend. (Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Image courtesy of KIRO 7)

More information has been released about the man who is accused of fatally shooting a teenager outside her Tacoma Hilltop area apartment last weekend.

Court documents indicate the 18-year-old man was the estranged boyfriend of 17-year-old Delayah Sims and he had been sending her threatening messages and had shot at the apartment complex building two days earlier.

The Tacoma Police Department (TPD) confirmed the man suspected of killing Sims turned himself in Tuesday. He’s currently being held on suspicion of murder, assault, drive-by-shooting and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Previous coverage: 17-year-old girl dead after shooting in Tacoma

“She was being harassed by her ex-boyfriend,” Sims’ father, Huie Sims, told KIRO Newsradio.

Delayah Sims’ 14-year-old sister told the Tacoma Police Department (TPD) Delayah Sims had planned to meet her ex-boyfriend outside the apartment to get some property back from him.

The property, according to text messages in court documents, appeared to be a gun.

The younger sister told TPD she was on the phone with Delayah Sims when she heard her scream twice, and then heard muffled noises. The 14-year-old hung up and called their mother.

Huie Sims said he and Delayah Sims’ mother had gone out to get the girls something to eat.

He said when they drove back to the apartment, they saw their daughter on the ground. There was a man standing next to her.

Tacoma father recalls moment he found his daughter dying

“I ran up on him, like ‘What are you doing?’ He was like ‘I’m calling 911,'” Huie Sims said.

Huie Sims insists reports that he had argued with anyone at the scene of the shooting were untrue.

Police confirmed Huie Sims drove his daughter to a hospital. During the drive, Delayah Sims said, “Mom, help me. I think I’m dying,” according to court documents.

Delayah Sims later died from her wounds.

“There’s nothing that can, that can fix a parent having to bury a child,” Huie Sims said, adding that he had a son who died at the age of 17, about five years ago.

More local crime: Woman found dead with gunshot wound at scene of Spanaway head-on crash

According to court documents, one of Delayah Sims’ family members described the man as a “white boy who wants to be tough.”

Court documents also state a family member said Delayah Sims talked to police on the phone the day before she was killed and gave them her ex-boyfriend’s name.

The man was also arrested in April 2023 after allegedly fleeing from a stolen car that had a stolen handgun inside, according to court documents. He was expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday.

Contributing: Julia Dallas, MyNorthwest

Heather Bosch is an award-winning anchor and reporter on KIRO Newsradio. You can read more of her stories here. Follow Heather on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Estranged boyfriend suspected in Tacoma teen’s death turns himself in