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13-year-old Darius Simmons laid to rest in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE —  A 13-year-old Milwaukee boy shot outside his home while taking out the trash has been laid to rest. Visitation for Darius Simmons Jr. was held at All People’s Church near 2nd and Clarke on Saturday, June 9th.  Members of the community gathered to commemorate the life of the teen who was shot and killed outside his home on May 31st.

Simmons was a sixth-grade student at Gaenslen Middle School. He was also a member of the “Kids Working to Succeed” program at All People’s Church.

According to investigators, Simmons was shot by his 75-year-old neighbor, John Spooner, while taking out the garbage. 

Spooner allegedly accused the boy of breaking into his house, and then shot him in an attempt for revenge.

Several prominent members of the community attended the funeral in order to pay their respects, including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Gregory Thornton.

Media was not allowed to record the service.  Simmons’ principal, Tamara Hines, was one of the speakers.

“He had a beautiful smile. He is a very handsome young man, and I want everyone to know that he was really intelligent.  He was a kid in class always with his hand raised,” Hines said.

Family members did not wish to speak to media, but Simmons’ mother did release a statement saying: “I would like everyone to know that Darius Simmons is innocent and was a good kid.  He like to cook, loved going to school, and church.  He was willing to do whatever he could to help anybody.”

Spooner has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide and could face life in jail.

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