Texas Girl, 9, Fatally Shot By Suspect Firing Into Wrong Apartment, Police Say

Aspiring rapper Tyrese Simmons is accused of fatally shooting Brandoniya Bennett.

August 19, 2019
Mug shot of Tyrese Simmons [Dallas County Sheriff's Office]

Photo by: Mug shot of Tyrese Simmons [Dallas County Sheriff's Office]

Mug shot of Tyrese Simmons [Dallas County Sheriff's Office]

By: Catherine Townsend

A child was fatally shot in her living room when a man who describes himself as an aspiring rapper allegedly targeted the wrong apartment, according to Texas police.

Brandoniya Bennett, 9, was getting her nails done at the Roseland Townhomes in Dallas when shots were allegedly fired by 19-year-old Tyrese Simmons.

Bennett's devastated grandmother, Tonya Elder, told Dallas's WFAA-TV after hearing the shots, she ran down to her daughter's apartment. She said she found her daughter sitting on the floor holding her granddaughter "in a puddle of blood."

Elder said Brandoniya, whom she called "Niya," had been excited about starting the fourth grade.

She described the anguish of standing over her granddaughter's hospital bed. "I said Niya, 'Get up. Get up for granny one more time,'" she said, adding, "She was the sweetest thing."

Brandoniya Bennett [WFAA/screenshot]

Photo by: Brandoniya Bennett [WFAA/screenshot]

Brandoniya Bennett [WFAA/screenshot]

Simmons allegedly shot Bennett after he went to the apartment complex to find a rap rival who reportedly lives next door to Bennett's home. He then began firing at the wrong home, according to a Dallas police statement obtained by People magazine.

Simmons fled the scene after the shooting, according to police. He later turned himself in at the Dallas County Jail. He has reportedly been charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty.

Simmons and the man he was allegedly targeting "consider themselves rappers and used social media to disparage the other," Dallas police told People magazine.

"In their rap songs, they dis each other," Dallas police Major Danny Williams said, according to Dallas' WBAP Radio. "It got to the point where this group wanted to come over and solve it by fighting," Williams said.

Dallas police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact Detective Jake Morgan with the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit at (214) 671-3630, or jake.morgan@dallascityhall.com, and reference case number 164774-2019.

Read more: WFAA-TV, People, WBAP

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