Earl Simmons, a father of five, ended up fatally shot on his birthday while returning from his sister's funeral. Witnesses confirmed he sustained the gunshots while trying to break up a fight.
An Ohio resident on Friday died from injuries sustained in a shootout after encountering a violent altercation on his way back from his sister's funeral.
The police in Columbus confirmed that one of the stray bullets hit the victim while trying to break up a fight in the Schenley Drive neighborhood.
Photo of a coffin during a funeral. | Photo: Getty Images
Reportedly, Simmons returned home on the said day to welcome relatives who were to stop by later for his 54th birthday. Officers responded to the scene just after 8:24 pm and found the father-of-five in critical condition.
Emergency responders transported him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 8:53 pm. The victim's family has since been left grieving the loss of two loved ones. His sister, Jacqueline Burley, revealed:
"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. We need help on this. We need closure."
Simmons' cousin, Ted Crome, described the deceased as one of the best people, adding that he was fun-loving, peaceful, and was good with the kids.
Crome also disclosed that Simmons' loss was tough on the family, who was still dealing with an earlier loss. The family remains hopeful the perpetrators would be brought to book.
Reports show that Simmons' death was the 45th homicide recorded in Columbus.
The victim's mother, Betty Simmons-Williams urged law enforcement agents to double efforts to retrieve some firearms from the streets. According to her, too many were in circulation resulting in lots of deaths.
The police were yet to arrest any suspects in connection with the crime as of press time. They urged members of the public with useful information to contact the Columbus Police Homicide Unit.
Reports show that Simmons' death was the 45th homicide recorded in Columbus since the start of the new year. This harrowing number rose to 46 on Saturday following another shooting in Columbus barely hours after Simmons' death.
Police recorded the second shooting incident at about 3:20 am on Saturday, after a 22-year-old man, DeOndre Smith, shot two teenagers when one of them punched him.
One of the victims, Cameron Kates, was pronounced dead at about 3:46 am, while the other sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Both homicides remain under investigation as police authorities continue their endeavors to curb violent crimes in the country.
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