| Crime |

Suspect Arrested in Dallas 9-Year-Old Girl’s Shooting Death

Tyrese Simmons, 19, is wanted for the murder of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett.EXPAND
Tyrese Simmons, 19, is wanted for the murder of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett.
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Dallas Police Department said Thursday afternoon that they've identified a suspect in the shooting death of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett. She was shot and killed Wednesday evening as she sat in her apartment on Munger Avenue in Old East Dallas.

According to Dallas Police Maj. Danny Williams, the first link in the chain of events that led to the girl's death was a dispute between two rappers over a series of "diss" tracks. The rappers — police identified one of them, Tyrese Simmons, as a suspect — got into an argument at the Roseland Townhomes. Simmons turned himself in to Dallas County Jail Thursday night.

After bystanders broke up the fight, Williams said, Simmons, 19, returned with a gun, looking for his rival. When Simmons' intended target didn't come to his apartment door, Simmons ran around to the back of the complex, Williams said, and shot into what turned out to be the wrong apartment, hitting Bennett. Police are still looking for additional potential suspects. 

Police and paramedics rushed Bennett to Baylor University Medical Center, but she died shortly after reaching the hospital.

"(Kids) don't think about safety because as adults, as parents, as police officers, we're supposed to make them safe," Williams said. "There's no way in the world that you can tell me this is the way that we're supposed to live and that we're supposed to accept the things that happened to this 9-year-old."

Community activists gathered at the apartment complex Thursday to call for action.

"When one family hurts, we all hurt," Maurice Ash said. "We have to learn how to live together, to learn how to march together, how to pray together ... We have to stop the gun violence." 

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.