Father of 5 killed while breaking up fight hours after sister’s funeral

“They need to get a handle on these guns. Try to get some of the guns off the street,' said the victim's mother

Just hours after attending his sister’s funeral, Earl Simmons was shot for attempting to break up a fight, per ABC 6. It was also his 54th birthday.

Simmons was in the Schenley Drive neighborhood and was shot around 8:24 p.m on March 26. Officers discovered the victim suffering from a gunshot wound and he was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He passed away at 8:53 p.m, according to PEOPLE.

“They need to get a handle on these guns. Try to get some of the guns off the street. Too many people are dying from guns,” said Simmons’ mother, Betty Simmons-Williams.

Earl Simmons Image: Facebook

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Witnesses say Simmons was breaking up a fight before “several weapons were fired” and one of the bullets struck Simmons “fatally wounding him,” according to a statement from the Columbus Police Department.

Before the tragic altercation, Simmons was preparing for relatives to stop by to celebrate his birthday. His sister is pleading for answers.

“I just need help to find out who killed my brother. Why did they kill my brother? They didn’t have no right to kill my brother,” said Jacqueline Burley. “We need help on this. We need closure.”

At this time there are no leads on those involved in the shooting but the family says their faith is helping them get through the tragedy.

“One of the best people you want to meet. He’d give you the shirt off his back. He was that type of person. Just a fun-loving person,” said Simmons’ cousin, Ted Crome.

He adds, “It is extremely tough on the family. We trust and pray almighty God, and we put our trust and faith in Him, that is what keeps us going day by day.” 

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As reported by theGrio, a Texas girl was also a recent victim of gun violence.

According to KPRC-TVLaurionne Walker, 6, was fatally shot on the morning of March 19, and the police in Pasadena, Texas, a town outside of Houston, have charged suspect Raymeon Means, 35, with capital murder.

Neighbor Mauricio Alvarez, who recalled to KPRC how he’d often see Means around the apartment complex where the shooting occurred, said the suspected shooter “knocked on the door and he was like, ‘Oh, can you check if you have water coming down, because the little girl clogged the toilet.’”

Alvarez told KPRC that what he heard next was Means arguing with other residents of the complex. He said he also heard someone banging on a car and someone saying “Get out of here. Get out of here!”

He continued to KPRC, “He went running upstairs, and we heard like four to five shots, and he started running, and we started hearing screams.”

“I’m at a loss for words right now,” said Earline House, Walker’s grandmother. “My granddaughter was still a baby. She got shot twice in the chest this morning.”

This incident comes not yet a week after another tragic loss for the family, who are related to Porschia Branch, the 28-year-old victim of the fatal March 14 car crash in which Branch’s three children also perished, according to KPRC.

Additional reporting by Jamal A. Hansberry

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