WANTED: Hector Manuel Morales
WANTED: Hector Manuel Morales (SUBMITTED)
Seeking to silence a person expected to testify at a drug hearing, Hector Morales kicked in the back door of a York man's home and shot him six times as the victim's wife hid in a third-floor bedroom, according to police.

Before going into the home, a witness told police, Morales pulled a .32-caliber handgun from his pocket and said he was going in to "kill his witness."

Morales, 26, with a last known address in the 100 block of West Market Street in York, is now wanted on criminal homicide charges for allegedly killing Ronald Lee Simmons Jr. inside the family's home in the first block of North Tremont Street during the early morning hours of July 16.

According to court records, Morales was released from prison after posting $100,000 bail on drug charges stemming from a June 23 arrest in Manchester Township by state police. The night of the murder, Morales' bail was revoked after he failed to show up for a 1 p.m. hearing that day before York County District Judge Alan G. Naylor.

Morales drove from Lebanon to York the night of the killing, looking to silence Simmons, according to a witness interviewed by York City Detective First Class Jeff Spence.

The witness, only identified in a criminal complaint as a man, tried to talk Morales out of the killing, according to police. When Morales refused, the witness said, he returned to a car parked nearby, heard several gunshots and saw Morales running down an alley with a gun in his hand and covered in blood, according to police.

Morales, the witness and another unidentified person then drove back to Lebanon, police said.

The day after the killing, Morales burned his clothing in a dumpster in Lebanon, according to the witness.

The witness then led police to a .32-caliber pistol, which matched six .32-caliber case shellings in Simmons' home, police said. An autopsy determined Simmons was shot six times, including a fatal shot to the chest.

Investigators also interviewed a second unidentified witness who lives near the Simmons' home.

Ronald L. Simmons Jr. was shot to death July 16.
Ronald L. Simmons Jr. was shot to death July 16. (SUBMITTED)
The witness, also identified only as a man, said he saw Morales get out of a black, four-door car parked near the home and a man, matching Morales' description, get out, according to charging documents.

The witness then said he heard four gunshots and saw a man running back toward the car. The witness identified the man he saw as Morales from a police photo lineup.

The victim's wife, Tina Simmons, told police she heard her husband yelling and then scuffling with a man outside their third-floor bedroom. She then heard Ronald Simmons yell, "He's gotta gun" before three to five shots went off, according to police.

She looked outside and saw her husband collapse in a stairwell as a man - matching Morales' description - ran away, according to police.

CALL POLICE

Anyone with information on Hector Morales should call the York City Police detective division at 849-2219

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