An Atlanta teen was shot and killed after knocking on the wrong apartment door in 2019. His accused killer is now standing trial for his murder.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutors said Darryl Bynes, a husband and father of five, shot and killed 19-year-old Omarian Banks after the teen mistook Bynes’ apartment for the one he and his girlfriend shared, WSB-TV reports.
Neighbor Sharonda Smith testified that she was in bed when she heard a commotion outside her window.
“I heard, ‘I was at the wrong door. I’m sorry. I was at the wrong door. No, you were not at the wrong door! POW! POW! Pow,'” Smith shared, according to the local news outlet. “And I see that baby laying on the ground. That’s what I seen.”
However, attorneys for Bynes say that their client acted in self-defense. According to a 911 call heard in court, Bynes told the dispatcher that he believed the teen had a gun. However, no gun was recovered from the shooting scene.
Jurors also heard from Banks’ mother, Lisa Johnson, and his girlfriend, Zsakeria Mathis who heard the gunshots the night of the incident and ran to his side. They made the initial calls for help.
“I just want to understand why he had to take my son’s life. My son was just confused. He just went to the wrong door, and he was begging for his life,” Johnson previously told ABC News.
“He worked. He was getting his life together, just trying to make his mom and family proud,” she added. “My son was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
The trial comes months after the high-profile shooting of Ralph Yarl and other victims have been shot in relatively innocuous disputes and misunderstandings, including mother Ajike Owens who was fatally shot in Florida and Kaylin Gillis, who was was fatally shot after she was in a car that pulled into the wrong driveway while looking for a friend’s house.