Detectives in Fort Lauderdale continue to search for suspects in the death of Simmie Williams Jr, the 17-year-old black gay teenager who was gunned down by two unknown men, possibly because he was wearing a dress at the time. The case becomes more tragic as news surfaces that five years ago, another young black gay man wearing a dress was shot on the same stretch of road—and he was the son of a family friend.
"I can't believe it happened again," says Veta Calloway, the mother of Timothy Broadus. The 22-year-old was shot dead on Jan. 8, 2003. Simmie Williams Jr. was shot dead on Feb. 22, 2008.
"She tries to comfort Williams' mother, Denise King, 38, whom she met around the time Broadus was killed. Both families lived in the same Hollywood apartments at the time, and King dated Broadus' brother.
Williams was just 12 when Broadus died, and the two young men never met, the mothers said."
The Williams and Broadus cases remain unsolved and police do not believe this is the work of the same killer, "although there were similarities. Both victims identified themselves as gay and sometimes dressed as women, and they were both shot by killers who may have made anti-gay slurs."
Several readers have commented that they're disappointed the Williams murder is not receiving the broader, national exposure of the Lawrence King case. The motives and circumstances are not similar. It goes without saying that young black gay men killed while in drag, and, most likely working as prostitutes, are never magnets for public sympathy. That's why it's promising the Sun-Sentinel and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department are working so hard to bring attention to the Williams case.
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