GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities have declared the weekend death of a man who was beaten in May a homicide.
Scott Simerson,. 24, was beaten on May 23 at the playground outside of Sibley Elementary School in northwest Grand Rapids. He remained hospitalized in critical condition until he was pronounced dead on Sunday.
“We really wanted Scott to live,” his sister, Emily Simerson, told 24 Hour News 8. “He was a wonderful person.”
Video of the attack has been taken into evidence by Grand Rapids Police. Authorities say the video shows Simerson apparently walking away when he was attacked by four young men. Family and authorities say Simerson did not fight back. He lay motionless after the attack as emergency responders were called.
The incident started after the suspects were reportedly bothering the young children Simerson had brought to the park. Simerson confronted the boys before the attack happened.
During the several weeks he was in the hospital, Simerson regained consciousness and family members thought he would pull through.
Simerson used signs to communicate with his family because a tube from the ventilator hampered his ability to speak.
“He was always big on the ‘I love you’ sign,” his sister said. “Every time that you would tell him that you loved him, he would put up the I love you sign or he would try to say it.”
Emily Simerson said she does not think the boys who attacked her brother intended to kill him. She said she hopes they learn that actions have consequences.
“We definitely want justice for our brother,” she said. “The world definitely lost a good person.”
In addition to his baby daughter, Scott leaves behind 11 siblings and a fiancee. Memorial services are scheduled to take place later this week.
Charges against at least one of the suspects are likely to be upgraded because of the victim’s death. Police say all suspects are in custody and have been notified that Simerson died.
“He was just a loving, tenderhearted soul and we will be forever changed by that,” Emily Simerson said.