KANKAKEE — No arrests have been made and the investigation continues into the fatal shooting of Darrell Simmons in Kankakee, Police Chief Robin Passwater said.

The 36-year-old Kankakee resident was shot Dec. 30 on the city’s north side in the 300 block of North Harrison Avenue.

“Investigators continue to follow up on leads and canvassing the area of the shooting,” Passwater said.

Officers responded to a shots-fired report in the area of the 300 block of North Harrison Avenue and found Simmons in an apartment. He was transported to AMITA Health St. Mary’s Hospital and died a short time later.

The preliminary cause of Simmons’ death is a gunshot wound, according to the Kankakee County Coroner’s Office.

A final cause of death will be determined at a later date.

Police say that Simmons was targeted in the shooting, which they say occurred outside the apartment.

Homicide stats

Simmons’ death marked the 18th homicide in Kankakee County in 2021, the most homicides in recent years.

Ten homicides occurred in 2016, which was the year that previously had the highest number of homicides in recent years, according to coroner’s office data.

Drive-by shooting

Passwater said the investigation also continues into a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Eve.

“We have a couple of leads we are working on,” Passwater said.

At about 11:20 a.m. Dec. 31 on North New Street, Jeffery M. Lawson, 34, of St. Anne, was wounded by a drive-by shooter. Lawson was taken to St. Mary’s emergency room for treatment of his injuries.

Later that day, after Lawson was discharged from the hospital, he was taken into custody. Lawson was wanted on a U.S. Marshal’s warrant related to a weapon violation.

If you have information, investigators ask that you call the Kankakee Police Department at 815-933-0426.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at and 815-937-3366.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is