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An Instagram Feud Between Rappers Led To The Shooting Death Of A 9-Year-Old Girl, Authorities Say

Brandoniya Bennett of East Dallas was getting ready for school the next day and sitting on her couch when she was hit in the head with a bullet.

Posted on August 17, 2019, at 11:41 a.m. ET

Dallas Police

Left: Brandoniya Bennett. Right: Tyrese Simmons.

A 9-year-old girl is dead after an Instagram feud between two rappers led to a shooting at an East Dallas apartment complex Wednesday night, according to police.

Brandoniya Bennett was sitting on her couch and getting ready for school the next day when she was struck in the head by a bullet that police believe was fired by a teen rapper.

That suspect, 19-year-old Tyrese Simmons, turned himself in on Thursday and was charged with capital murder, according to CBS DFW. Online jail records show he is being held in the Dallas County Jail.

According to police, Simmons traveled to Roseland Townhomes to confront a rival rapper after the pair had used social media to disparage each other.

When the person refused to leave their home after being challenged by Simmons, the suspect allegedly circled to the back of the housing complex and opened fire on the wrong unit, killing Bennett.

Bennett had just done her nails in preparation to return to school when she was shot, according to Dallas Police Maj. Danny Williams.

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

And here’s another look at the victim - Brandoniya. Dallas Police Major Williams says she was scheduled to start school today and just had her nails done yesterday. @CBSDFW

Bennett’s death is the third shooting-related death of a child at the Roseland Townhomes community in the last two months. In late June, two 17-year-olds were killed and two others injured in a drive-by shooting near a local community center.

At a Friday evening event, West Dallas Community Fellowship pastor James Armstrong acknowledged the community’s frustration and grief for having “to bury someone too soon,” according to the Dallas Morning News.

"We are calling for every member of the community who owns a gun to put down those guns," he said. “Enough is enough. The violence has to stop. We are declaring peace in our community."

A GoFundMe campaign for Bennett’s mother, Sontravia Elder, to help with expenses arising from the death of her daughter and with her son’s college costs surpassed $30,000 on Saturday morning.

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