Only three months after Trayvon Martin was shot and killed, another unarmed Black teenager had his life taken away.
Last Thursday, 13-year-old Darius Simmons was shot and killed by his 75-year-old neighbor, according to the Associated Press.
The shooter, John Henry Spooner, was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon. He was arrested the same day after waiting for police at the crime scene.
According to the complaint, John approached Darius as he was retrieving a garbage cart from in front of a house, saying he “wanted his stuff back and that he wanted his shotguns back.”
The young boy and his mother told the man that he did not have his property. Then John pulled a gun and pointed it at Darius and fired one shot from about five feet away, court documents indicate.
John then fired another shot as the boy was running away, ending the teen’s life right in front of his mother.
An autopsy found that Darius suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and the bullet damaged the ventricles of his heart before exiting his back.
According to police reports, Darius was unarmed at the time of the shooting. Like the Trayvon Martin case, both young boys were virtually unknown in the areas where they were gunned down. Darius and his mother had just recently moved into the home near John’s. In contrast to the Trayvon case, John was immediately taken into custody.
Reportedly, John had been a repeated target of break-ins, neighbors say, and even installed surveillance cameras around his house.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that John told Alderman Bob Donovan, whom he met with for breakfast the day of the shooting, that burglars had taken about $3,000 worth of shotguns from his home, that he suspected his neighbors committed the alleged crime. John was frustrated that police hadn’t made any arrests.
John also told Bob that “there are other ways to deal with situations” that the police couldn’t solve, the Sentinel reports.
John’s preliminary hearing is set for Monday morning.
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