Capture of Fugitive Rapper Involved in Tragic Shooting of 9-Year-Old Girl

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In a recent development, Tyrese Simmons, an aspiring rapper who had fled before his murder trial, has been apprehended in Oklahoma. Simmons, 23, was captured following an intense standoff with law enforcement at a hotel in Tulsa. He faces a capital murder charge for his alleged involvement in the death of 9-year-old Brandoniya Bennett, who tragically lost her life when Simmons mistakenly fired into the wrong apartment, thinking it belonged to a rival rapper.

The heart-wrenching incident took place on August 14, 2019, when Simmons, amid an escalating social media feud with another rapper, allegedly discharged his weapon at an apartment unit in error. Brandoniya, a young girl full of hopes and dreams, was preparing for her first day of fourth grade when she was struck by a bullet that ended her life.

The Bennett family was devastated by the loss. Tonya Elder, Brandoniya’s mother, tearfully recalled the horrifying scene, stating, “I looked down at the floor where my daughter sat holding her baby girl, her only baby girl, in a puddle of blood because they stole her life.” The tragic incident left a lasting impact on the community, mourning the loss of an innocent life full of potential.

Following the shooting, Simmons turned himself in the next day, only to be released on bond in December 2019. He was placed on house arrest, monitored by an ankle monitor, awaiting his trial scheduled for June 5. However, Simmons managed to elude authorities for over three weeks after a “tamper alert” was triggered, indicating a problem with his ankle monitor.

Simmons’ capture came after a prolonged standoff with law enforcement at a Tulsa hotel. Despite attempts to coax him out of the room, Simmons refused to cooperate. After hours of negotiation, officers resorted to using pepper balls to subdue him, leading to his eventual arrest. He is now set to be extradited to Dallas, where the shooting took place.

It is worth noting that another individual, Davonte Benton, was previously convicted on capital murder charges related to Brandoniya’s death. During Benton’s trial, his defense argued that he was not the actual shooter. Testimony revealed the difficult circumstances Benton faced, including alleged abuse by his father. Despite this, Benton received a 45-year prison sentence.

The tragedy of Brandoniya’s loss reverberated throughout her school community. Kelly Brennion, an assistant principal at Cesar Chavez Learning Center, testified during Benton’s trial, describing the young girl as vibrant, happy, and beloved by teachers and classmates alike. Brandoniya’s memory serves as a poignant reminder of the preciousness of innocent lives lost to senseless violence.

The capture of Tyrese Simmons brings some measure of closure to this heartbreaking case, providing an opportunity for justice to be served. The hope is that through legal proceedings, the truth will be revealed and the memories of Brandoniya Bennett will be honored.

READ ALSO: Three Teenagers Charged in Series of Armed Robberies and Carjackings Across D.C. Area

 

 

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