The homeless son of a 46-year-old man shot dead in his Bronx apartment has been charged with creeping through a second-floor window and killing him, police said Monday.
Rameek Simmons, 23, is accused of sneaking through an open second-floor window and shooting Robert Forrest inside the victim’s home on Carpenter Ave. near E. 226th St. in Wakefield about 9:45 p.m. Dec. 14.
A relative found Forrest, a construction worker, dead on the floor. His death was initially labeled an overdose before an autopsy revealed he had been shot in the head.
“He was a good dude,” a relative who declined to give his name told the Daily News Monday. “He cared about his family. He worked hard.”
Forrest had boasted on Facebook about setting up his son in the construction business with him.
“Got my son a job working with me sense he wanna act like a grown man i got him a grown man job,” Forrest wrote in 2016 alongside a pic of his son in a construction hat.
“He was a good person,” Forrest’s aunt, who declined to give her name, said of the victim. “He was a loving father.”
“Although our time was cut short, I have the sweetest of memories to last a life time,” Forrest’s girlfriend posted on Facebook. “You’re an amazing man.”
Security video shows the gunman, dressed in a black coat with a blue surgical mask under his chin, running away from the scene toward the 219th St. subway station. Cops released that footage on Dec. 22 and asked the public’s help identifying the killer.
The next day Simmons walked into the 33rd Precinct stationhouse and said he saw the images of himself on social media and asked for a lawyer, refusing to discuss the case, sources said.
He was charged with murder, burglary and weapon possession. On Dec. 24, he was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court and ordered held without bail.
The motive for the killing remains unclear.
Simmons lives at the 30th Street Men’s Shelter in Manhattan and has two prior arrests, both in Jersey City, according to cops. In 2016 he was arrested for conspiracy, kidnapping and robbery. He was charged with drug possession in an earlier arrest.
In the kidnapping case, he was accused of forcing a man to take him to the man’s home, threatening to shoot him and hit him with a brick. Simmons was later caught trying to sell the items he allegedly stole at a pawn shop, according to a local report at the time.
His slain father had been arrested 15 times on charges including strangulation, weapon possession, selling drugs, grand larceny and robbery. He’d done two yearlong stints in prison, records show. He was most recently released in 2010.
Forrest had turned his life around and been working construction for more than a decade at the time of his death, relatives said.