Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy who fatally shot a Dollar General store clerk during a failed robbery attempt.
Dallas police say they arrested the teen suspect, who is not being named since he's a minor, on Thursday around 1 p.m. for the capital murder of 27-year-old Gabrielle Simmons. The mother of 6 was killed during the robbery Monday night at the Dollar General on Sunnyvale Street. She was killed right before she was set to finish her workday.
Several tips from the public helped police identify and find the teen suspect. Police found him just a few blocks north of the Dollar General. They said he was arrested without incident.
"We view these things very seriously," said Deputy Chief Malik Aziz. "They're family to us. Gabrielle Simmons is family to us. Her family is family to us. And this is why we have so many community people coming forward wanting to help us with this."
Police say the shooter walked up to Simmons and demanded all the money in the cash register. She followed his orders and put the money in his gym bag, but she was still fatally shot. Police said the gunman shot her, grabbed the till and ran out.
But police say Simmons still managed to hit the alarm, causing the store's doors to shut automatically. As the shooter was trying to escape, he dropped his bag filled with the money and escaped.
Aziz did not say if they’ve recovered the murder weapon or if the teen confessed to the crime. Detectives are still looking for another male who was believed to be the lookout during the robbery.
The teen suspect has had run-ins with the law before for a violent family incident. He's been transferred to DPD's Youth Division for processing.
Simmons was engaged to Aris Joseph, the father of her kids. He’s already back at work to support the family's kids, ranging from 11-years-old to as young as 6-months-old.
News of the arrest came just hours before Joseph and his kids attended a community forum and fundraiser at Calvary Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Church. Everyone in attendance is troubled by the senseless shooting.
“It's just kind of unbelievable. He so young, but I don't know, man. He ain’t got no God, I guess,” Joseph said. “That's God's job, you know. He got the last say. He's got the last judgment. So I'm gonna leave that situation in God’s hands and I'm gonna focus on what's important for me and my kids.”
Joseph says the plan is to take Simmons back home to Mississippi to be laid to rest.
Donations are being accepted for the family at Ford's office in the Rosemont at Oak Hollow Apartments (3015 East Ledbetter in Dallas) or Christ Memorial Missionary Baptist Church (539 East Overton in Dallas). A GoFundMe account has also been set up: https://www.gofundme.com/monique-mo-joseph