Simmons was shot in front of his grandmother's house on Feb. 23. The victim's family made a plea to the public Monday morning, one day before the 14-year-old will be laid to rest.
"You can't describe the pain," said Simmons' grandmother Bernice Hobdy. "You can't describe the pain that the family is going through right now. And I know someone knows something. I know someone knows who did this."
The Riverside Police Department announced a $50,000 cash reward during a press conference; the city of Riverside and the county are offering $25,000 each. Since the shooting detectives said they have been pursuing leads, but they still need the public's help.
"Somebody knows something about this," said Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz. "Somebody who did this talked about it."
Simmons was a freshman at Riverside Poly High School where he was a member of the Junior ROTC. His dreams of joining the military ended while walking home from a friend's house. Investigators say the teen was steps away from his own home when a passenger in a car got out, pulled out a gun and opened fire.
"He was within a couple, 50 feet maybe, of his own house, when he was confronted face-to-face," said detective Ron Sanfilippo from Riverside police. "He started to back up. Whatever was said, we don't know. But there was a confrontation out in front- he did run, he did back up away from the shooter."
Anyone with information is urged to call the We Tip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME. Tips, we well as the reward, can be anonymous.