Overview of Jumyrin Smith
Jumyrin Smith was the last child born to Justin Simms, Sr. and Monique Smith. The oldest child of the family was his sister A'miya Smith. Justin Simms, Jr. was the middle child born, and he and A'miya were approximately 2 years apart. The baby boy of the family was Jumyrin Simms, born about 4 years after Justin.
Family and friends described Justin's mom, Monique, as a sweet and hard-working single mother. She loved her children and would do anything for them. Most of her free time was spent with her children when she was not at work.
Sometime between 2015 and 2016, the Smith/Simms family and their little white dog moved into a small white brick rental home on the corner of Touro and Mandolin streets in New Orleans. According to neighbors, their house was located in a good part of the Gentilly neighborhood, where "everyone watches out for everyone."The neighbors described the Smith/Simms as a very nice and quiet family. They would often see the kids outside playing with their dog and would see the parents barbecuing from time to time. Then one day, they noticed the family was rarely at home. Some initially suspected that the young family had moved away but would occasionally see the kids outside waiting for the school bus. This was about the time when Monique's husband, Justin Sr., moved out of the family home.
Justin Sr. stated that he and Monique had grown apart, and they separated. After moving out of the family home, he relocated to Jackson, Mississippi, about 3 hours away from New Orleans, where he got a job. And that's precisely where Justin was, at work, that Friday morning on 03/10/2017.
On Thursday, 03/09/2017, Monique and her mother looked forward to the following day. Monique wanted to look for a new car in the morning and also planned on helping her mother move in with her and the kids. A'Miya and Justin were most likely looking forward to going to school the next day as they would both be receiving awards at school. A'miya, who was 12 years old and in the seventh grade, was getting an award for exemplifying the school's values and another for perfect attendance. Justin Jr., who was 10 years old and in the 5th grade, was also getting an award for perfect attendance. And Jumyrin, who was a Kindergartener, was probably looking forward to going to school and playing with his friends.
The day of the murder
The weather had been beautiful that Thursday, with a high of 77 degrees. But the temperature started dropping just about when Monique, A'miya, Justin Jr., and Jumyrin went to bed for the night. Little did anyone know, that would be the last time Monique would ever see or kiss her kids again. As the family was fast asleep, someone broke into the backdoor of their home and forever changed many lives.
Authorities believe that once inside, he intentionally sought 30 year old Monique in her bedroom first as she would've been the greatest threat out of all those in the home. The intruder raised his gun and shot her in the face multiple times. Next, the intruder made his way upstairs, found the 3 children, shot them just as brutally in the face, and left them all for dead. A'miya is said to have witnessed precisely when her baby brother 6 year old Jumyrin, was shot multiple times in the face. But little did he know, there would be one survivor.
At approximately 4:18 am, a 911 call came in from a little girl asking for help. As police and EMS rushed to the scene, all they knew was that they were dispatched to a reported shooting at the white brick home on the corner of Touro and Mandolin streets. They had no idea what horrors would await them.
The caller was 12 year old A'miya. She, too, had been shot in the face and was barely clinging to life. Once authorities found her, they immediately whisked her away to the hospital for emergency surgery. As the officers continued searching throughout the home, hoping for signs of life from the others, they realized that A'Miya was the only survivor. They soon found the bodies of two more children and their mother. They had all been shot multiple times in and around the facial area.
The word of the crimes spread quickly and soon made its way to Monique's parents. As they arrived on the scene, Miss Debra, Monique's mother, collapsed on the ground with such grief and despair. It was too unbearable. Before anyone knew it, a crowd had begun to form outside the home. Several neighbors and even Justin Sr.'s best friend were seen standing outside the home, watching in disbelief as authorities worked the scene. Mr. Jonathan, Monique's father, was heard saying these were his only grandchildren. And soon, Justin Simms, Sr., would also hear the horrible news about his family.
Almost immediately, the rumors began to fly as some thought Justin Sr. was guilty of the crimes. But as upsetting as it was, he managed to give an interview with the local news media which was then aired for all to see. He told of how he was 3 hours away in Jackson, Mississippi, and there was no way he could ever do that to his family. Police have since confirmed his alibi. Yet, others thought maybe it was a drug deal that Justin Sr. owed money to people and didn't pay, so instead, they took it out on his family. But until we find the killer or killers, no one will really know what happened that Friday, March 10, 2017.
Where the case stands today
Investigators are still looking for possible suspects and motives, and no arrests have been made. Almost 3 years later, authorities released a sketch of someone they believed could be involved. They also think he’s familiar with Monique’s house and family. This case is still open.