A teen rapper Tyrese Simmons turned himself in to authorities Thursday evening for the murder of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett in Dallas, Texas.
Simmons was sought after by police following a feud between rival rappers leading to gunfire erupting, which mistakenly hit and killed Bennett. She was struck in the head as she slept on the couch at the Roseland Townhomes.
Witnesses told detectives that Simmons was searching for a rival rapper and possibly had the wrong address. Several people reported that Simmons was engaged in a rap battle and got angry when another rapper dissed him in his lyrics, CBS reports.
He allegedly went to find the rapper and urged the person to come out of the apartment unit. The suspect reportedly then circled back around to the building and opened fire when the person refused to come out.
“She was sitting in her house,” Dallas police Maj. Danny Williams said. “She felt safe.”
Emergency responders reportedly tried to save Bennett, but she later died at Baylor University Medical Center, as a result of her gunshot wound.
Simmons is in jail on $500,000 bond and charged with capital murder.
Brandoniya’s family said the “free-spirited” girl was excited about starting fourth grade on Monday.
“When one family hurts, we all hurt. The whole community hurts,” said Maurice Ash, a community activist. “The saddest thing is that my daughter will never be able to get to know this young girl. This will never happen because her life was cut down, cut short because of senseless gun violence.”
“This family is filled with so many emotions,” said Dominique Alexander of Next Generation Action Network. “It’s hard for them to process what’s going on.”
Tonight at 7 p.m. a prayer will be held at the apartment complex where Brandoniya was killed, The Dallas News reports.
Next week, a series of prayer gatherings will be held at parks across Dallas at 7 p.m.
Monday: Glendale Park at 1515 East Ledbetter Drive in Dallas
Tuesday: White Rock Lake Park at 8300 Garland Road in Dallas
Thursday: Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 2901 Pennsylvania Avenue in Dallas