An Atlanta family is grieving this weekend after the senseless killing of a teenager who knocked on the wrong door.
Omarian Banks, 19, was killed on Friday morning after mistakenly knocking on the wrong door to an apartment complex he had just moved into with his girlfriend.
Police say Banks got a ride home in a Lyft at around 12.30am on Friday morning when he was dropped off at the wrong breezeway.
When he went upstairs and to the left to what he thought was his apartment, he was shot, WSB-TV2 report.
Banks was talking to his girlfriend using FaceTime when he knocked on the door. Shortly after, he began to walk away. That’s when police say the man inside, 32-year-old Darryl Bynes, grabbed a gun and went on to the balcony to confront Banks. After a short conversation, police allege, Bynes shot the teenager.
Channel 2’s Michael Seiden talked to Banks’ girlfriend, Zsakeria Mathis, about the pain she’s felt since witnessing what followed the shooting of her live-in boyfriend.
Mathis recounted the tragic event:
He got in the Lyft and 12:26 a.m […] That’s when he called me and said ‘open the door.’ And that was the last conversation we had.
Mathis started to worry when she didn’t hear a knock on the door, and went out to the front porch of her apartment.
I just hear faint voices and a gunshot, and then I hear him yell. And I heard all the fear in his voice and he was just, ‘I’m sorry! I’m at the wrong door!’ The man was like, ‘No, you’re not at the wrong door!’ And he shot two more times and then it was silent.
By the time she got down to the parking lot, Omarian was already dying.
I turned him over. He was moaning and groaning and he had tears in his eyes and he was just bleeding.
Banks’ mum, Lisa Johnson, also spoke to Channel 2, about what she says was a senseless act of violence against her son, an aspiring musician who had just landed a new job.
I’m having a hard time understanding that someone could be that mean and hurt a child. Stop and think before you pull the trigger.
He loved life. He loved living. He loved his family.
It’s no joke. You could be here today and gone tomorrow. Stop and think before you pull the trigger.
According to police, Bynes initially told them he shot Banks in self-defence, but officers say he shot him from his balcony as Banks was trying to run away.
Bynes is charged with murder and is being held at Fulton County Jail.
Bynes’ cousin, Makayla Johnson, told WSB’s Lauren Pozen they don’t think he should be charged with murder.
Police say 19 year old Omarian Banks was shot and killed after he accidentally went to the wrong apartment door in his complex in SW Atlanta. I just spoke with the Medical Examiners office who told me his family has been notified. pic.twitter.com/hCRINGf76E
— Lauren Pozen WSB (@LaurenPozenWSB) March 29, 2019
He is an innocent father. He has five kids. He was protecting his family. His truck was stolen earlier this week, right now, he’s just trying to protect his family.
Bynes is due to go in front of a judge on Saturday.
Family friend Michael Wallace described Omarian as a hard-working young man who would never bother anyone: ‘This is a 19-year-old child that didn’t even deserve to die, that hasn’t even lived his life.’
A GoFundMe has been set up to help towards Omarian’s funeral costs. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.