Russell Simmons, grandson held at gunpoint, robbed in Northeast home
The early morning sun was shining in Russell Simmons' quiet Northeast neighborhood as he returned home after dropping his wife off at a dialysis center at about 6:15 a.m. Saturday morning.
"I pulled my car into the driveway," he says. "And as I was getting out, two young men came with guns and told me to drop to my knees."
The two suspects, wearing dark clothes and ski masks, took his car keys and ordered him to open his house, which is in the1800 block of Upshur Street, NE.
His 14-year-old grandson was inside, but Simmons decided not to fight back.
"Because they had two big guns," he says. "And they were young. And most so for my grandson's sake. I just could not take a chance."
The suspects forced him and his grandson into a bathroom, then systematically moved through the house, stealing hundreds of dollars in cash, sentimental items, like his wife's jewelry, and electronics.
"TVs, cells phones, computers," he says. "Everything that wasn't nailed down."
After about 30 minutes, the house was quiet, and Simmons and his grandson cautiously ventured out.
The suspects had taken off in Simmons' white Mercedes SL500.
Simmons called police and then his son, who rushed home from work.
"I mean my dad's had heart attacks before," says his son, Russ Simmons. "You put a gun to him, I mean anything could happen."
The family will now take extra security precautions, but after 25 years in the house they feel violated.
And yet, they're also counting their blessings tonight, thankful no one was hurt.
The elder Simmons says he doesn't know if he was targeted or this was a crime of opportunity. But given the time of day, his son thinks the suspects were watching and waiting to strike.
Police are now looking for that white two door Mercedes. The D.C. tag has a rose and the number 94.
If you see this car, police say don't approach, call 9-1-1.