POLICE: Wenonah High School student shot and killed while ‘play fighting’ with loaded gun; charges filed against 18-year-old

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 8:57 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 9:41 AM CST
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BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office says a 15-year-old girl from Birmingham was shot and killed in Bessemer.

The victim has been identified as Janiyah Simmons. She was a freshman at Wenonah High School.

Police were called to the 300 block of 30th Street South in Bessemer just before 9 p.m. on Monday. Bessemer Police say Janiyah and an 18-year-old male were “playfighting” with a loaded gun when it went off and shot Janiyah.

She died a short time later UAB.

Raukeem Cunningham, 18, has been charged with manslaughter.

Police say Cunningham stayed on the scene when the shooting happened. He is in the Bessemer City Jail and he is cooperating. Cunningham will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail where his bond will be $30,000.

The superintendent of Birmingham City Schools released the following statement:

“Once again, Birmingham City Schools is facing the tragic loss of a student. We are deeply saddened by the death of Janiya Simmons, a freshman scholar at Wenonah High School. Our thoughts and prayers are with Janiya’s’ family, as well as the students, faculty and staff at Wenonah High. Grief counselors will be on hand at the school today.”


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