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Atlanta Teen Fatally Shot After Knocking on Wrong Apartment Door

Atlanta Teen Fatally Shot After Knocking on Wrong Apartment Door

Omarian Banks, 19, was shot and killed around midnight on March 29 after mistakenly knocking on the wrong door of his Atlanta apartment complex.

According to local news station WSB-TV, Banks and his girlfriend, Zsakeria Mathis, had just moved into the area and he was still unfamiliar with his surroundings.

Authorities said the 19-year-old was dropped of near the wrong breezeway when exiting his Lyft ride. He called Mathis to open the door of their home and proceeded to go upstairs, but he was at the wrong apartment.

He reportedly knocked on the door and turned away after realizing his mistake. However, Darryl Bynes, 32, who lived in the apartment, grabbed his gun and confronted Banks from his balcony.

After a brief back and forth, the 32-year-old shot the teen. Mathis said she went out to see what was happening after Banks didn’t appear at their door.

“I just hear faint voice and a gunshot, and then I hear him yell,” she told the local Atlanta news outlet. “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.”

Banks was pronounced dead at the scene after a gunshot wound to his neck. Bynes was immediately arrested and allegedly told authorities he shot the teen in self-defense. The 32-year-old is charged with murder.

Bynes’ family does not agree with the murder charge. His cousin, Makayla Johnson, told a local reporter, “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.”

Lisa Johnson, Banks’ mother, told reporter Michael Seiden that her son had just gotten a new job and was an aspiring rapper.

“I’m having a hard time understanding that someone could be that mean and hurt a child,” Johnson said. “Stop and think before you pull the trigger.”

Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.