FAYETTEVILLE: Shooting victim's ex honored at gun violence rally - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Shooting victim is ex of woman honored at Fayetteville anti-violence rally

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Shaniqua Simmons was killed in a double homicide at the former Cambridge Arms Apartments. Shaniqua Simmons was killed in a double homicide at the former Cambridge Arms Apartments.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A man shot this week in Fayetteville was the ex-boyfriend of a woman who was honored at an anti-violence rally just hours earlier.

Gregorio Atiles was hurt in a shooting early Wednesday morning along Reilly Road. Six hours earlier, his ex-girlfriend, Shaniqua Simmons, was honored at a rally to end gun violence in the city.

Simmons was killed in a double homicide at the former Cambridge Arms Apartments in May. Her mother Clotilda Simmons Barnes said the couple had stopped seeing each other about four months before the Cambridge Arms shooting. Barnes was at the rally Tuesday night. She said she was shocked and saddened to hear about a shooting so soon afterwards.

"I was like, 'God, did the vigil help? Did it not help?'" Barnes said. "I know it helped to some extent, but I was just really shocked."

Barnes said she does not have any theories on whether or not her daughter's murder is connected to the shooting that injured Atiles. However, she was upset to learn that another person she knows was the victim of gun violence.

"He's still a good part close to my family because before him and her actually split up, that's all he would talk about is, 'Ma, I really love your daughter, would love to marry her,'" Barnes said.

Police have not said if they suspect a connection between the two shootings. Investigators are working to find four people they say drove up to Atiles and robbed him before shooting him.

In an effort to cut down on violence, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock said anyone who turns in an illegal firearm to the police department would be offered amnesty.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.