2 school teachers accused of going into wrong apartment, getting in bed before shooting tenant
A pair of alcohol-impaired elementary school P.E. teachers entered the wrong Florida home, and one eventually shot a man who lived there.
Two Florida elementary school physical education teachers have been accused of entering the wrong apartment, and one of the intruders shot an actual tenant who lived there.
According to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Darius Cohen and Akkua Hallback spent the night of Oct. 10 drinking in some Vero Beach bars, local media reported. Afterward, Cohen drove to an apartment complex of an area woman; Hallback waited for her inside her residence. Cohen waited outside for a few hours but eventually needed to use the bathroom, and he contacted Hallback.
Hallback went out to get Cohen, but upon returning inside, the two 26-year-old men entered the unlocked door of the wrong apartment, where a family lived.
“When they went into the wrong apartment, they went into [an apartment with] a couple with children inside of their house,” Sheriff Eric Rivers told WPBF.
Authorities claimed that Cohen used the bathroom, and Hallback got into the couple’s bed, assuming it was that of the woman Hallback knew.
“The wife initially was the one that heard them and alerted her husband; she started screaming his name,” said Sheriff Eric Flowers. “That’s when he addressed the one that was in the bed and trying to keep them calm because of the children in the house.”
The unidentified victim got the two men outside, where the confrontation continued and escalated. Surveillance video showed a fight breaking out, and four gunshots being fired. The tenant of the home ended up with a bullet in his back.
The victim ran to a neighbor’s home for help.
“I woke up to a man getting into the bed, and when I got up, I encountered another man in my apartment, and we got into a scuffle, and I ended up getting shot,” Flowers said, describing what the victim told him to WPFW News.
Cohen and Hallback took off from the scene, but the men were later found. A call came into the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers after the two were recognized on its Facebook page.
Cohen admitted to authorities that he shot the unidentified man but claimed self-defense, saying the gun fired while an attempt was being made to wrestle it away. He has been charged with attempted murder. Hallback, who was found with Adderall in his backpack, was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He may also be charged later as an accessory.
Police also said they found two guns in the home Cohen and Hallback share with another teacher. Tests are being conducted to determine if one was a weapon used in the shooting.
“Just sends a message of nothing good happens after midnight,” Flowers said.
The two men have also lost their P.E.-teaching jobs. Cohen taught at Indian River Academy and Hallback at Sebastian Elementary.
“This is very disappointing for us as a school system,” school superintendent Dr. David Moore said to WPTV. “There is no place for this in our school system, there is no place for this in our community.”