AUSTIN — Just before starting his senior year at Lincoln Park High School, 18-year-old Quincy L. Simmons, Jr. was shot to death near his West Side home.
According to his father, Simmons was a good kid for the most part, but ran with the friends he had known since childhood, friends drawn to the gang life.
“As much as he’s got some good friends, he’s got a couple of bad ones, too,” Quincy Simmons Sr. said outside the family home on the 1100 block of North Leamington Ave. — just blocks from where his son was gunned down on August 1. “He was trying to feel his way out ... but he wanted to bring some of his friends along.”
In 2011, Simmons Jr. was charged with theft, robbery, aggravated battery and unlawful restraint, according to court records. His dad did not get into details, but said his family was ready to put the incident behind them.
“We were just ready to be done with it,” Simmons Sr. said.
On the night of his death, Simmons Jr. had met up with some friends who were going to go sign a memorial poster for another friend who had been killed a year ago, his father said. Though the circumstances surrounding his son's death were unclear, he heard the intended target was someone else in the group.
Simmons Jr. was known as “fat man” among family members, due to the baby fat he carried until he hit adolescence, his father said. He liked to rap and dance, and even had a knack for physics.
Simmons Sr. said the family is holding up as well as can be expected, but that it’s particularly hard for him in the early hours every Wednesday.
“That’s when I got the call,” he said. “Mostly it’s deal with it day by day. I have no choice because I have other kids I need to take care of. I fall apart, but I try to do it by myself.”