ATLANTA, Georgia – A Georgia man was charged with murder after he shot his 19-year-old neighbor who mistakenly knocked at his door early Friday morning, police said.
Omarian Banks knocked on Darryl Bynes' apartment door, mistaking Bynes' apartment for his own, which he had recently started sharing with his girlfriend, according to Atlanta TV station WSB-TV.
WSB-TV reported that Banks had just been dropped off at the apartment complex by a ride-sharing service when he video-chatted his girlfriend, asking her to open the door. But Banks was at Bynes' door.
According to the Georgia TV station, Banks was walking away from the apartment when Bynes grabbed a firearm, went to the balcony and had a brief exchange of words with Banks before shots were fired.
A witness told the TV station that they heard Banks apologize and try to explain what had happened before multiple shots rang out.
"He pleaded for his life. He was like, 'Hold on, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry' and the dude shot him," the witness told the Georgia TV station.
Banks' girlfriend also told WSB-TV that she heard him apologize and explain that he was at the wrong door and that Bynes used a racial slur toward Banks before shooting him multiple times.
A relative of Bynes told WSB-TV that he shouldn't be charged with murder because he was acting in self-defense.
"He has five kids, he was literally protecting his family," Bynes' cousin, Makayla Johnson, told the news outlet. "His truck was stolen earlier this week. Right now, that's all they're trying to do is protect their family."
Police, however, told the TV station that Bynes shot Banks from the balcony as Banks tried to leave.