Suspect in fatal road rage shooting of teen appears in court - CBS46 News

Suspect in fatal road rage shooting of teen appears in court

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(Source: Decatur Police Department) (Source: Decatur Police Department)
DECATUR, GA (CBS46) -

The family of 17-year-old Janae Owens is focusing on positive memories, the only things they have left after the teen was shot and killed in a suspected road rage incident Wednesday in Decatur.

"Janae was a very bright young lady from the day that she was born," her grandmother, Jacqueline Gilbert, said to CBS46's Hayley Mason during a FaceTime interview Saturday.

Gilbert said the family was relieved to learn that 50-year-old Simmie Reed was arrested and charged with the murder Friday night after police received a tip.

"We are just glad that he is off the streets because it looked like my heart had fell in the bottom of my stomach," Gilbert said.

"Obviously, we believe that he killed somebody, so to get somebody off the streets like that is huge for us," said City of Decatur Police Sergeant John Bender. "We are a smaller department. We've been working this case non-stop since June 20 when it happened," Bender added.

Police believe Reed shot both Janae and her mother while they were driving on South Candler Street. Janae's twin sister, Jamiya, was riding in the back seat. 

"It's very hard," said Gilbert. "Her mother seems to be doing okay. She's in a lot of pain still. It's just fresh right now."

The family had just moved to Atlanta from Shreveport about six weeks ago. The twins had their own photography business called Shots By Twins. They wanted to finish high school in the Atlanta area and hopefully attend Spelman College.

It was Janae's twin sister, Jamiya, who broke the tragic news of what happened to her grandmother.

"The night of the incident when she called to tell me that this had happened, she said 'Gran, what are you doing? I want you to sit down. I want you to sit down because Janae wants me to pray with you,'" Gilbert recalled. "She prayed with me and afterward she said Janae is gone home. I said well, 'Why isn't she with you all?' She said, 'Gran, Janae has gone to be with the lord and I feel like she wants you to know that she's going to be alright and she wants you to be strong,'" Gilbert said.

The family says that leaning on faith is getting them through this time. They're already focusing on forgiveness.

"We want to pray and we want to ask forgiveness and just hope that we can forgive him for this senseless act that he has done. We lost a jewel," Gilbert said. 

Reed is charged with one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault with intent to murder, and the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He's booked in the DeKalb County Jail.

He made his first appearance from jail via close-circuit television. During his appearance, it was learned that Reed was previously convicted of a fatal shooting of a woman in Mobile, Alabama. He was originally charged with murder but was convicted on a lesser charge of manslaughter.

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