The 9-year-old Dallas girl who was shot in gang-related gunfire this week was killed by accident during a feud between two rappers, according to police.
Dallas police said in a news release Thursday that Tyrese Simmons, a 19-year-old rapper, is the main suspect in the death of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett. Simmons has turned himself in, CBS DFW reports.
Simmons went to an apartment building on Munger Avenue in Old East Dallas around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday to confront someone, but the person would not come out, according to police — so Simmons “circled around to the back of the apartment complex and opened fire on the wrong apartment, fatally striking Brandoniya who was inside at the time.”
According to police, the gunman and intended target “used social media to disparage” one another in an argument that “ultimately led to the shooting.” Police described Simmons as upset over a rival’s “diss” track, according to CBS DFW. The TV station reported that Brandoniya “was simply sitting on her couch when she was stuck by a bullet in the head.” Police said the girl had nothing to do with either rapper, FOX 4 reports.
The shooting proved fatal despite the efforts of police, firefighters and witnesses to rush Brandoniya for medical care, according to CBS. Brandoniya was pronounced dead at Baylor Hospital, police said.
“This is a baby,” said Lakeitha Washington, a friend of the victim’s mother, according to KTVT. “This is crazy; this is beyond crazy.”
Authorities got emotional speaking of the girl’s death, according to FOX 4.
“Those are the people that don’t think about safety because — as adults, as parents, as police officers — we’re supposed to make them safe. As community leaders, we’re supposed to make them safe,” said Maj. Danny Williams, per FOX 4. “She was sitting in her house. She felt safe.”
Detectives said the shooting was gang-related.
Williams asked for anyone with information in the case to come forward, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“She was 9 years old. She would have started school today,” Williams said at a press conference. “She got her nails done yesterday.”