Fatal Shooting Victim's Family Gets Surprise Shopping Spree

It's a holiday surprise meant to bring joy after loss.

A party bus carried the family of Gabrielle Monique Simmons. She was killed during a robbery at a Dollar General store in East Oak Cliff in November.

On the bus was her fiance, Aris, and their six children, who range in age from 11-year-old Martavionne to 9-month-old Ar'brielle.

"It's nice! The kids were very amazed," said their aunt, Taiesha Parker. "It was good to wake up to something like this. They were like, 'The bus is outside!'"

Thanks to Williams Chicken, the family was treated to lunch and then a Christmas shopping spree at Target.

"I ain't expecting it to be like this," said Aris during the chaos of shopping. "This is something I've never seen before."

Everyone had one hour to basically get anything they wanted. The most active shopper of the family was 6-year-old Na'veah. She happily loaded several carts full of items.

And for her older brother Martavionne, his joy came not only from his new goodies, but it also came from seeing his little brothers and sisters.

"All of them [are] happy," Martavionne said. "I got all the stuff I like, they got all the stuff they like, too."

And proudly accompanying each of them in spirit, was their mother. Her picture was printed on each of their matching T-shirts.

"I got shirts for everyday of the week," Aris said. "I'm going to make sure everyone sees her face every day. I come out, they are going to see her face."

Just over a month after losing his partner and fiancee, Aris opened up about how he's doing.

"I'm holding up, doing pretty good," Aris said. "Little kids keeping me strong. It's a lot of work to do, a whole lot of work to do, but, hey, I'm alright. I'm holding together."

Aris said seeing his kids happy is his only relief. And on this day, the unexpected excitement is thanks to the Williams family of Williams Chicken, who picked up the very long bill at Target.

"They took a whole lot of weight off me by doing this, a whole lot," Aris said. "So I'm very thankful for it. Words really can't explain how I feel about this, but I'm very very thankful and I know my kids are too."

A gift from strangers with heavy hearts, wanting to ease the pain of loss for this family. If only for a moment.

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