Another Black Teenager Gunned Down – This Time In Front Of His Mother

Author: June 9, 2012 4:55 pm

75-year-old John Henry Spooner from Milwaukee, WI, appointed himself judge, jury and executioner when he gunned down a 13-year-old boy whose only crime appeared to be…his appearance. The victim, Darius Simmons, was black, unarmed and brutally shot in front of his now grief-stricken mother.

At issue was a gun collection, which had been, according to Spooner, stolen. Simmons lived next door. Spooner confronted Darius, who was in sixth grade, and his mother, Patricia Larry, when the boy was moving a garbage can in the front yard. Darius denied involvement in the theft. In fact, he was in school at the time of the robbery, but that answer was unsatisfactory to Spooner, who proceeded to point his 9mm handgun at Darius.

From Global Grind:

Frightened by the sight of a gun being pointed at him only five feet away from his chest, Darius raised his hand in surrender as Spooner fired one shot into his torso. Scared, wounded and confused, Darius took off running as Spooner aimed and fired another shot, striking Darius in the back.

After speaking with the family, Community Activist, David Muhammad, said that police questioned Darius’ mother for two hours while leaving his body on the sidewalk. Even after Darius was taken to the hospital, his mother was held in the police car. He was pronounced dead before she could get to him. Then police searched Darius’ home and found nothing. Instead, they arrested his older brother for having truancy tickets. Police have stated that the lengthy questioning was necessary in leading to an arrest.

Spooner’s family, however, was allowed to return to Spooner’s home (also a crime scene) and retrieve personal items.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Spooner was upset that his neighborhood had turned from a majority Caucasian neighborhood to a mixed-race neighborhood. Darius and his family had recently moved next door to Spooner.

Darius regularly attended church and worked in the church’s community garden. His pastor, Steve Jerbi, described him as, “The kind of kid who, one quick look from the pastor, he’d quiet down.”

Spooner has been arrested on first degree murder charges and is held with a cash bond set at $300,000, which is unusual for first degree murder cases.

One witness is Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan, who allegedly had breakfast with Spooner just an hour before the shooting. Spooner complained to Donovan about the police’s reluctance to arrest Simmons and said that there were other ways of dealing with these problems, a conversation that would indicate premeditation.

Wisconsin does have both Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine laws on the books, although it probably be even more difficult for Spooner to make the case that he was under any sort of threat than it will be for George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin.

Here’s the video:

Donations can be made to the Simmons Family at Tri-City National Bank in the name of Darius Simmons.

Simmons is the 16th African-American to be gunned down since the shooting of Trayvon Martin in February.

Follow me on my new Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson


facebook comments:


  • equalizer1232

    What the hell is happening in this country? It must be the water we drink! Or is it too much cheeseburgers and fries? Never mind the concealed-carry! When we know everybody’s got a ‘Gat’ maybe they think wice about shooting! Pray brothers and sisters!

  • tenfeet2hands

    In the wake of the growing number of senseless (fear based shootings) and the obvious apathy of the responding law enforcement why not call upon the entire Nation of all backgrounds and form a movement to STOP this now. Why just proclaim outrage and grief on-line, when we could easily construct a petition, post it,submit it to the DOJ for a repeal of the ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ and any version composed in its likeness?

    We say nothing and the perpetuation of killings of young Black boys and girls will continue. We join forces as we would for ANY violation of Civil Rights and we can put an end to this law. The greater problem of racists gun owners is yet another very complex issue. To move against that ‘below-the-radar’ group would mean attacking the NRA and we all know that would fail and only serve to anger them causing more harm than good.

    What is a citizen, mother, grandmother, father, pastor and NATION to do when the enemy is next door hiding in plain view of the next target which could be you?

  • Guns in the hands of angry, people, right or left, as we’ve seen is a deadly combination.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.