How an Instagram feud led to the death of 9-year-old girl

BTW

A fight between two rival rappers on Instagram led to the shooting death of a 9-year-old girl on Wednesday.

The two Dallas rappers apparently carried their online fight over to real life. One of the rappers, Tyrese Simmons, 19, went to Roseland Townhomes in East Dallas to confront his rival. The rapper who lived at the townhomes didn’t come out of his house, so Simmons allegedly went to the back of the complex and opened fire on the unit, according to BuzzFeed News. But he was shooting at the wrong home.

Brandoniya Bennett was sitting on her couch when Simmons allegedly opened fire on her home. She was preparing for school, which was due to start the next day.

“She was in her house. She felt safe. She was 9 years old,” Dallas Police Major Danny Williams said at a press conference on Thursday.

Simmons turned himself in to police the following day. He’s facing a capital murder charge and awaiting trial in a county jail, according to the Dallas Morning News.

A local pastor has implored the community to denounce violence in honor of Bennett’s death. He asked people to “put down those guns” for the next seven days, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Earlyshia Thomas, a friend of the Bennett family, has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help with funeral expenses.

“We may never understand the why, but we know God is a comforter and He keeps us at our lowest moments,” Thomas wrote. “Please join me in helping to raise funds for this mother who will lay her 9-year-old daughter to rest due to senseless gun violence.”

The fundraiser’s initial goal has been surpassed by more than $20,000.

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H/T BuzzFeed News

Sierra Juarez

Sierra Juarez

Sierra Juarez is a freelance journalist and fact-checker based in Mexico. She most enjoys writing about human rights and politics and working in audience engagement. Her work has appeared in the Texas Tribune, the Austin American–Statesman, and the San Antonio Current.