Dozens gather for vigil at home where grandmother was shot, killed

Family, friends mourn loss of Danette 'Dee Dee' Simmons, 63

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Dozens gathered outside a home Saturday where a grandmother was shot and killed.

Family, friends and loved ones gathered outside the home of Danette "Dee Dee" Simmons, 63, for a candlelight vigil after Miami Gardens police said she was gunned down inside her home late Thursday night.

"She played a big role in everybody's life and it is sad. It's sad," said Johndolyn Hamilton, granddaughter of the victim.

While candles now light up an image of Simmons placed on her front door, those closest to her remembered the woman who they described as selfless and loving.

"She was a woman of God first. She was an auntie, grandma, stepmom, friend," said Portia Williams, a cousin of the family.

While investigators are still searching for her killer, family members Local 10 News spoke with said it was just before midnight when her dog, Chase, had gotten loose.

As Simmons' neighbor came to return the small Yorkie, they said two strangers showed up to the home claiming the dog was theirs. They said there was a fight, and shots were fired.

"This is her dog, so how can you take someone's life over their stuff? I just don't understand," Hamilton said.

As family and friends now mourn the loss of their beloved Simmons, her granddaughter has a message to the killer that remains on the loose.

"Turn yourself in," Hamilton said. "You don't know what you did to our family."

Family members said they will not rest until Simmons' killer is caught. Anyone who has any information that can help police can call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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