Police arrest alleged killer of Barney Simms

Add this share

Just hours after Atlanta police publicly identified the suspected killer of gay civic leader Barney Simms, the agency's fugitive squad arrested him about two miles from the scene of the killing.

Eric Banks, 17, will now face murder charges in the killing of Simms. Police allege that Banks shot Simms on Saturday afternoon in the front yard of his Connally Drive home less than an hour after the two ate at a nearby Waffle House. 

Simms, 70, was a former executive with the Atlanta Housing Authority and served on several city-related boards and commissions as well as neighborhood and civic groups.

On Thursday, Atlanta police publicly identified Banks and said they were charging him with killing Simms. Hours later, police said officers found Banks and arrested him on Plaza Lane, about two miles from Simms' home in southwest Atlanta. 

On Monday, homicide investigators asked for the public's help in identifying the man seen with Simms at a Waffle House on Virginia Avenue. That person turned out to be Banks.

“We would like to thank the Atlanta community for their tips in making the arrest of Mr. Banks,” Atlanta police spokesperson Kim Jones said. “We could not have done this without your help.”

Atlanta police did not offer other details about the capture of Banks, whether they suspect him of also stealing Simms' Lexus, which was recovered in nearby East Point on Sunday, or what relationship – if any – existed between the two men before the killing.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...