Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

A grandmother is dead after gunshots were fired into her house, cops say

Danette J. Simmons.
Danette J. Simmons.

The family of a slain 63-year-old woman and Miami Gardens police want to know why someone sprayed gunshots into her home Thursday night.

Miami Gardens police responded to the residence in the 18800 block of Northwest 17th Court around 11:20 p.m.

Fire Rescue said the woman was dead inside the home.

Friday morning, the woman’s granddaughter spoke to WPLG Local 10 and told the station that the woman, Danette J. Simmons, was shot in a dispute with two strangers over her dog.

According to the granddaughter’s account, the dog, a Yorkshire terrier, had gotten loose and was in a neighbor’s yard. That neighbor returned the dog to Simmons. But then two other unidentified people said that the terrier was theirs and after an argument at least three shots were fired and Simmons was struck and killed.

Simmons’ family and friends also spoke to Miami Herald news partner CBS4.

“She didn’t deserve to be shot in her own home. Someone takes your life over a dog?” said Simmons’ friend Rose Williams.

Simmons’ niece Turquandra Simmons told CBS 4 that her aunt “was a good, loving, caring person. My auntie loved everybody. She lived her whole life like nothing ever happened to her.”

The way her life ended has family members in shock and urging the public to help officers make an arrest. “Please say something,” Turquandra said. “This gun violence needs to stop.”

Miami Gardens police didn’t elaborate on the details or release the woman’s name. But the department also asks for the public’s help to identify the subjects in what they are calling a homicide. Anyone with information can call Miami Gardens Det. Christopher Pacheco at 305-474-1583.

People can also call Crime Stoppers at 274637 or visit

Miami officials respond to a shooting near Bunche Park and Northwest 23 Avenue in Miami Gardens on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

Miami Gardens police responded to a shooting Thursday afternoon that left three people wounded, according to the department. Police say there was an earlier shooting that left one man wounded.

A 6-year-old boy died on March 16 after finding a loaded gun and shooting himself in the head inside a Miami Gardens home, police confirmed.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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