While the gay blogosphere was rightfully upset and mourning the loss of 15 year old Oxnard, California student Lawrence King who was shot to death by a classmate for being openly gay, another senseless hate crime took the life of 17 year old Simmie Williams Jr. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Simmie Williams Jr., 17, was attacked on the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard by two young men who wore dark clothing and might live in the neighborhood, police said. Williams, who was wearing a dress and was known in the area by his first name or as "Chris" or "Beyonce," was shot about 12:45 a.m. Friday and soon afterward died at Broward General Medical Center, police said.It's unclear what Williams was doing in the area, about four miles from his house, but police are investigating whether he was working as a prostitute, officials said.
Williams had signed up Wednesday for Job Corps, a federal government program designed to teach students vocational skills. He planned to get his GED and then go to culinary school, his mother Denise King said.
"That's what he really wanted to do. That's all he talked about," said King. "He spent the whole day with me yesterday, played with his nephew and cooked dinner." A few hours later, he was dead.
Police are investigating the death of Simmie Williams Jr. as a hate crime. Words were exchanged prior to the shooting according to Detective Katherine Collins, spokeswoman for Fort Lauderdale police, but she would not elaborate any further.