75-Year-Old White Man Shoots and Kills Unarmed 13-Year-Old In Front Of His Mother

June 5, 2012  |  

Another unarmed black teen has been gunned down, but in this instance justice is at least attempting to be carried out immediately.

Last week, 75-year-old Milwaukee resident John Henry Spooner approached 13-year-old Darius Simmons as he was getting a garbage cart from in front of a house Thursday morning. According to a statement from the boy’s mother, Patricia Larry, in a police complaint, Spooner told her son he “wanted his stuff back and that he wanted his shotguns back,” the complaint said.

Simmons and his mother reportedly told Spooner they did not have his property and he then pulled a gun, pointed it at Simmons and fired one shot from about five feet away. As the the boy was running away, Spooner fired a second shot which fatally wounded the boy. An autopsy found the teen suffered a gunshot wound to his chest, and the bullet damaged the ventricles of his heart before exiting his back. Police recovered a weapon as well as two spent casings at the scene of the crime.

Spooner was arrested Thursday after waiting for police at the crime scene on Milwaukee’s south side. After being taken into custody he was charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon. Police are currently investigating whether there is a history of disputes between Spooner and Simmons. Robert Delatorre, who is a neighbor of Spooner’s, said the old man lived alone with his two dogs and often walked around the block. While he was on one of those walks his house was burglarized and he suspected his next-door neighbors had committed the crime. He also installed surveillance cameras outside of his house, but it’s not clear if police have looked into any possible tapes just yet.

Alderman Bob Donovan told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he had breakfast with Spooner earlier on the same day of the shooting and said the man told him he had lost $3,000 worth of shotguns in a burglary this week and that he was frustrated with police and was dying of lung cancer.

“He seemed burdened, truly burdened,” Donovan said. Spooner also said something to the extent of “there are other ways to deal with situations” the police couldn’t resolve, Donovan added.

Sounds like another sad case of vigilante justice—with no proof of wrongdoing. Biko Baker, Executive Director of the League of Young Voters and a former political correspondent for The Source, commented on the case saying:

“Black youth are being stereotyped, targeted, and killed by law enforcement and now community vigilantes. This is bigger than the Castle Doctrine (Stand your ground law) , this is about our country’s continued refusal to acknowledge that we are still suffering from the sins of our forefathers. And the more we try to push the racial boogieman under the cover, the more it is going to bite us in the a**.”

Thankfully, Spooner remains in custody on a $300,000 cash bond.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • ananonymousdude

    This is nothing like the Zimmerman trial. From what the news has told us so far it sounds
    like this guy is guilty and will probably to go jail and that is justice just not for the young teen who is no longer with us.

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  • Watch how white people will be attacking us more we have to fight back.

  • There’s no comparison to the trayvon case, the boy wasn’t 7″ taller than the man, he didn’t jump and felony assault him before getting shot.

    • truthhurts

      I’m sorry you have no as in ZERO proof that Trayvon “jumped” Zimmerman . and you’re stupid if you believe after trailing a person Zimmerman suddenly decided to stop following him and that Trayvon decided that he would suddenly attact him at that time. I honestly would have believed Zimmerman more if he had stated that he stopped Trayvon to ask him where he was going because at least then we would have a plausible reason for Trayvon to attack him

  • lina

    wow just wow I feel cold and have no words

  • ElvisWasAHero2Most

    So a mother’s child has been shot dead…. and the only photo there is to display, is a picture of presumably the mother in what appears to be a prison jumpsuit?


      So what, black people can’t wear orange now for fear idiots like you will think it’s a prison jumpsuit? ‘Cause yeah, that’s the only time a black person in orange makes sense. It is obviously a blouse.

      i hope you aren’t an advocate for change for AA, because from that ignorant observation you think like the people that ARE the problem.

      • ElvisWasAHero2Most

        I said it “appears to be a prison jumpsuit” and yes, when you wear that distinct orange with a collar while your hair ain’t on point…. I just visited my cousin cousin almost a year ago up north, so my apologies for coming off as offensive.

  • Mia

    One of my deepest wishes is to be married and give birth to a son, now I’m too damn afraid to have children. These animals are killing our kids like their lives mean nothing. So very sad!

    • I kno and I have a 2 yr old son. And I feel like I’m crying daily from fear and trying to remain sane. And imagine this mother pain I kno I would have been devastated.

  • CA Pullen

    This is absolutly crazy, these people are gunning down these blacks males and they get to laugh at and walk away. Something needs to really be done about this.

  • Colette

    I’m NOT having a kid in this country. Period Blank.

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  • well hey he’s going to jail he will have someone to talk to all the time (big bub and white power nation), he’ll have plenty of time to hit the track and walk around the prison yard. i mean this probably is like a dream come true to him. 3 hots and a cot ! smh

  • Ladybug94

    So tragic. Prayers for the mother and family.

  • memyselfandus

    Him being arrested doesn’t make me happy at all because he’s already half dead, what anguish will he suffer? It’s the best justice can be served but he needs to really suffer the consequences I see jail as an easy way out for him.

  • Hope that old man has fun in hell. I don’t care how old he is or who stole what from him. He had no right to snuff out the life of a little boy and ruin his family’s life forever.

  • Even if this child did steal his things, it is not the appropriate response to kill him. this old, dying man is going to leave this life with an enormous karmic debt to pay in the next one.

  • lalatarea

    He doesn’t care abt going to jail he’s 75 and dying i think he just wanted to go out with a bang to prove to himself that he still had some control over his life and get some kind of justice.

  • Native_Noir

    I’m from Milwaukee and we were holding our breath hoping this would NOT turn into a “Zimmerman situation.” It took the MPD less than 24 hours I believe to charge this man with first-degree intentional homicide AND he was arrested right away! *Take note Florida* This man had no proof of who took his belongings and this child lost his life over assumption. I guess he figured he’s already dying of lung cancer and had nothing to loose murdering a child. May Darius Rest In Peace.

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  • DaRedNeckKing

    I guess they didn’t take all the guns huh!!! The Alderman should have helped the old man when he asked him for help.. We all know how older people are, they don’t play around when Fkd with.. Now the old man is finished and a kid has lost his life..

  • now he cares about what he has done after the fact . smh ppl are nuts. thats why i mind my own business ,speak maybe, and keep it moving. r.i.p to the young man this person (the shooter) probably has alzheimer’s and needs to be in a home.