Man charged with murder after fatally shooting man who went to wrong apartment

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Family and friends of a teenager shot and killed after he mistakenly knocked on the wrong apartment door are sharing their grief and anger.

Omarian Banks, 19, was killed early Friday morning in Atlanta by a man in another apartment.

Police said Darryl Bynes, 32, shot Banks from his balcony.

According to police, Banks got a ride home in a Lyft and was dropped off near the wrong breezeway around 12:30 a.m. Friday.

Police said Banks and his girlfriend had just moved to the apartment complex and Banks wasn't familiar with the area. He went upstairs and to the left to what he thought was his apartment but he was at the wrong door.

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Banks was using FaceTime to talk with his girlfriend when he knocked on the door. Shortly after, he began to walk away from the door. Bynes then grabbed a gun and went onto his balcony to confront Banks, police said. After a short conversation, Bynes shot the teenager, police said.

Banks' girlfriend, Zsakeria Mathis, told WSB she sent a Lyft to pick up Omarian, who had been hanging out with his mother.

“He got in the Lyft and 12:26 a.m.,” Mathis said. “That’s when he called me and said, ‘Open the door.’ And that was the last conversation we had.”

Mathis said she started to worry when she didn't hear a knock on the door, so she walked outside onto the front porch of her unit.

“I just hear faint voices and a gunshot, and then I hear him yell," Mathis said. "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.”

Mathis said she ran down the stairs but when she got to the parking lot, Banks was already dying.

"I turned him over," Mathis said.  "He was moaning and groaning and he had tears in his eyes and he was just bleeding."
Banks' mom, Lisa Johnson, said it was a senseless act of violence.

“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.”

Johnson said Banks, an aspiring musician, had just landed a new job.

"He loved life. He loved living. He loved his family," Johnson said.

Bynes initially told police he shot Banks in self-defense, but officers say he shot the teen from his balcony as Banks was coming down the stairs, trying to get away.

Family friend Michael Wallace described Banks as a hardworking young man who never bothered anybody.

“This is a 19-year-old child that didn’t even deserve to die, that hasn’t even lived his life,” Wallace said.

Bynes is charged with murder. He’s being held at the Fulton County Jail. His cousin, Makayla Johnson, said he’s innocent.

“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,” Johnson said.

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