Dispute about dog leads to fatal shooting in Miami Gardens, family member says

Victim's granddaughter says woman shot in head after dog escaped from yard

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Madeleine Wright - Reporter

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Police are investigating a fatal shooting at a Miami Gardens home.

The woman's body was removed from the home on Northwest 17th Court early Friday.

Miami Gardens police said a 63-year-old woman was shot to death at her home Thursday night, but the victim's granddaughter told Local 10 News that she was shot and killed in a dispute with strangers about the family dog.

"You telling me she died over a dog?" the victim's friend, Rose Williams, said.

The granddaughter said Chase, the family's Yorkshire terrier, recently escaped and wandered into a neighbor's yard. She said the neighbor returned Chase, but two strangers approached and claimed to be the rightful owners of the dog.

An argument ensued, the woman said, and her grandmother was shot in the head after going back inside the home.

The woman identified her grandmother as Danette "Dee Dee" Simmons.

Danette Simmons was shot to death after an argument about her dog.

"It kind of woke me up when I heard the shots, you know," neighbor Charlie Williams said. "Because there were so many together, you know, like five -- four, five -- in a row."

Police left evidence markers taped next to three bullet holes in the house.

The dog was taken to a Miami-Dade County animal shelter during the investigation, but is expected to soon be picked up by relatives. 

Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call police at 305-474-1583. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. A reward of up to $3,000 is offered for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest.

"She didn't deserve to die, to be shot in her own house," Williams said.

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