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Who shot a worker dead and left him off U.S. 78 in DeKalb?

He was still in work clothes, a label on the blue hard hat near his body revealing his name: Devon Simms.

The 28-year-old Lithonia man was found dead behind an apartment building off U.S. 78 near Stone Mountain on Tuesday morning. Days later, the death remains mysterious.

“Investigators believe he was shot where he was found,” said Lt. Lonzy Robertson of DeKalb County police said Friday. “They haven't revealed any motives or what led to his death.”

When a passerby spotted the man on Russwood Avenue, police responded before 8 a.m. The body was stiff, an officer said in a report.

Police spoke with residents, including a woman who said she’d heard a single gunshot, followed by a woman’s scream, about 15 minutes after midnight. 

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“She stated she did not call the police because it’s normal to hear gunshots in the area,” an officer wrote in the report.

It isn’t clear where Simms lived and worked. Court records list various addresses for him around Stone Mountain and Lithonia. 

Records also show he faced pending charges of aggravated assault and false imprisonment from September, when he was arrested by DeKalb police. He was released less than a week later.

Efforts to reach family weren’t successful Friday.


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Previous coverage:

DeKalb County Police PIO Shiera Campbell describes the scene where police are investigating a dead body found in an apartment complex. Video by John Spink/AJC

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