Funeral held for 14-year-old slain girl

Family, friends say goodbye to 14-year-old Megan Simmons

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Two weeks after she was shot and killed during a sleepover at her best friend's house, family and friends packed a local church to say goodbye to 14-year-old Megan Simmons.

Simmons and 13-year-old Jazmine Shelton both died after someone opened fire on a Northwest Jacksonville home.

It was a tough and unexpected goodbye, as family and friends filled Paxon Revival Center Church to say goodbye to Simmons.

"She was just a generally good person, loved to laugh and she loved to sing," said Simmons' friend Abby Kephart. "She loved to entertain people, she loved to talk."

Even those who didn't know Simmons that well felt compelled to come pay their respects.

"I believe that everyone needs a legacy and she was really a cool girl so I think even if you don't know her, it would still mean a lot to her if you came out here," said Alisyn Wise, Simmons' friend.

Simmons' funeral comes days after the one for her friend, Jazmine Shelton. The two were together when police said someone shot dozens of bullets into the home during a drive-by shooting.

In the two weeks since then, police still have not made any arrests.

The pastor at Paxon Revival Center Church said this is the ninth young person they've memorialized here in as many weeks. Many of them, like Simmons, have been victims of violent crime.

"You know the community wants the justice as much as you want the justice, and we will get justice," said Pastor Steve Dobbs.

Dobbs said it's the church's role to help hurting families. He's opened its doors to the families of 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, who was abducted and killed, the Bohannon brothers, who were shot and killed on the Westside, 20-year-old Shelby Farah, who was shot and killed in a robbery at MetroPCS, and Simmons' friend, Jazmine Shelton.

Now as he presides over the latest ceremony, Dobbs hopes it brings her family comfort.

"We know where she is. She's not going to be in a hole somewhere, that she's already in heaven and she's already up there with her best friend, Jasmine," Dobbs said.

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