Thousands gather to remember community leader Barney Simms

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Thousands gathered on Saturday to remember community leader Barney Simms.

The funeral took place at Antioch Baptist North, where the 70-year-old was a longtime member.  Many called Simms a gentle man who cared for those around him.

Simms was laid to rest at Westview Cemetery.

A teenage suspect charged in the murder of a well-known Atlanta community leader waived his first appearance hearing Friday morning. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 29.

Police believe Eric Banks, 17, shot and killed Barney Simms last Saturday outside the victim's southwest Atlanta home. 

Banks is being held at the Fulton County jail without bond. 

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The 70-year-old victim was found dead in the front yard. Police said his Lexus was missing and the front door of his home was open. That same Lexus was recovered Sunday by East Point Police.

Investigators said Banks was taken into custody in the 1800 block of Plaza Lane late Thursday afternoon. The arrest came just hours after police said they identified Banks as the murder suspect and had taken out warrants for him in the case.

Banks was seen in surveillance video in a Waffle House with Simms before the murder took place.

Simms was well-known in the Atlanta area with ties to numerous community organizations including Chairman for the Fulton County Department of Family and Children Services, Co-Chairman of the Board for the Walter and Andrew Young Family YMCA in southwest Atlanta and the Antioch Urban Ministries.

According to police, it was Banks' mother who turned her son into authorities.