Garden of Hope planted in honor of 13-year-old shooting victim

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Family and friends of 13-year-old Darius Simmons gathered on the corner of 2nd and Clarke in Milwaukee Friday afternoon, May 31st, to remember the young boy who was shot and killed by a neighbor.

"We're celebrating the possibilities of hope," said Rev. Steve Jerbi.

Loved ones spent the day planting a garden to honor Simmons on the one year anniversary of his death.

"Every time we work the soil, every time a seed is planted, and a crop is nurtured it's a sign of what is possible," said Rev. Jerbi.

Susan Holty spent spent many hours with Simmons at the community garden.

"This is where he was making a difference and learning to succeed in life," said Holty.

Simmons was gunned down near his south side home by his next door neighbor, John Spooner, who investigators say admitted to the crime. Spooner is charged with 1st degree intentional homicide and is scheduled to go on trial July 15th.

"It continues to be tough. Certainly the family is looking for some type of closure and some type of accountability," said Johnathan Safrin, the family's attorney.

The Garden of Hope will help feed people locally at the neighborhood food pantry.