Tyrese Simmons, 23, allegedly cut off his ankle monitor ahead of his upcoming capital murder trial set to begin last week and is now missing.
Simmons is accused of the 2019 killing of a 9-year-old during a shootout with a rival rapper in East Dallas.
At the time of the shooting, then-19-year-old Simmons was an aspiring rapper who was upset about lyrics used by a rival rapper. Armed with a gun, Simmons went to confront the rapper.
Brandoniya Bennett was shot in the head and killed while sitting on a sofa in her family’s home.
Simmons later turned himself in after Bennett’s death.
A second suspect, Davonte Benton, 19, was also arrested by police and charged with capital murder for Bennett’s death. He was convicted on those charges last year and was sentenced to spend 45 years in prison.
Simmons cutting off his ankle monitor is reminiscent of Nestor Hernandez, an aggravated robbery parolee who cut off his ankle monitor in October 2022 and allegedly gunned down two hospital employees in a senseless act of violence at Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Dallas.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia has been very vocal in his support of stricter punishment for criminals who cut off their ankle monitors, such as HB 3549, which would make tampering, damaging, or disconnecting an ankle monitor a crime, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Garcia voiced his support for the bill via Twitter, saying, “The time is now to ensure violent suspects do not continue to get more chances then [sic] our victims.”
Since Simmons cut off his ankle monitor, police have not been able to locate him. Shalena Simmons, his mother, claims she does not know where he is, according to CBS News.
There is an active warrant out for Simmons’ arrest.
Dallas police officers continue to patrol the streets in search of suspects like Simmons amidst a shortfall of officers. The department is presently some 400-500 officers short of what is needed to fight crime, according to Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association.
Downtown Dallas struggles with crime. Last fall, a dedicated police unit was created for Deep Ellum. Dedicated police units are common in downtown areas. Fort Worth uses such a unit alongside private security guards, and the Houston Police Department maintains a special unit called the Downtown Division.