DALLAS - A suspect wanted in the shooting death of an innocent 9-year-old Dallas girl turned himself in to police hours after being named. Dallas police say an argument between two rappers over "diss tracks" resulted in the shooting.
Brandoniya Bennett, 9, was killed Wednesday afternoon while she was sitting on a couch in her family's apartment at the Roseland Townhomes off of Munger Avenue.
With help from witnesses and social media, detectives on Thursday identified 19-year-old Tyrese Simmons as the accused gunman. Simmons turned himself into police shortly after being identified as a suspect Thursday afternoon.
Police say Simmons and an unidentified man were arguing over lyrics the other had written about them in their songs.
Witnesses told police they broke up the argument before Simmons told the other man he would return to "air this place out," meaning he would return to shoot the place up.
Investigators believe Simmons returned and opened fire into the townhome where Brandoniya was staying. She was sitting on her family's couch when he was struck and killed by gunfire. Police say she had nothing to do with the two men, and it's not clear why they fired into her townhome.
Dallas Police Major Danny Williams was emotional as he described his own personal feelings about the murder of a 9-year-old girl.
"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" he said. "She was sitting in her house. She felt safe. She was 9 years old. She would've started school today. She got her nails done yesterday."
Major Williams says officers carried Brandoniya to a squad car so they could try to get her to a hospital as fast as possible. They were able to meet paramedics to get her immediate medical attention, but it wasn't enough.
Dallas police believe the two men involved are also in gangs, but they did not reveal which ones.