Steve Rothaus/The Miami Herald

The Miami Herald Reports Denise King, a working mom turned gay-rights crusader after the Fort Lauderdale shooting death of her 17-year-old son, Simmie Williams Jr., died New Year's Eve of a heart attack.  King, 40, never knew who killed Simmie on Feb. 22, 2008, in a vacant lot off Sistrunk Boulevard.


Fort Lauderdale Police say he got into an argument with two men wearing dark clothing. Witnesses heard gunshots, and the men ran away. The case remains unsolved.  King's aunt, Rosemae Barnes of Fort Lauderdale, said Simmie's death haunted his mother.  "She always was a happy person," Barnes said Monday. "But after what happened to her son, Denise was grieving. They never found the person who killed him. That bothered her a lot. She tried not to show it because of her other kids. She tried to keep herself happy and her mind on her job."

King was born in Fort Lauderdale and graduated from Northeast High School. She studied nursing and worked in several area hospitals and nursing homes. Recently, she worked nights at a Fort Lauderdale Burger King and took nursing classes during the day, Barnes said.

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