Authorities in Florida said two Physical Education teachers who entered the wrong apartment after a night of drinking got into an altercation that resulted in one of the residents of the home getting shot.
According to Indian River County Sheriff Eric Flowers, the suspects, identified as Darius Cohen and Akkua Hallback, had been out drinking before they made their way to an apartment a woman Hallback knew resided, WPTV reported. That was in the early hours of October 10.
Flowers said Hallback remained in the woman’s apartment while Cohen waited for him outside. But while waiting, Cohen needed to use the bathroom, so Hallback came outside to lead him back into the woman’s apartment.
The two men, however, entered the wrong apartment. “When they went into the wrong apartment, they went into a couple with children inside of their house,” Flowers said. The victim also said he saw Cohen coming out of his bathroom and Hallback retreating to his bed. The victim was in bed at the time.
“The wife initially was the one that heard them. And alerted her husband she started screaming his name,” Flowers said. “That’s when he addressed the one that was in the bed and trying to keep them calm because of the children in the house.”
And though the victim managed to get Cohen and Hallback out of his apartment, they got into an altercation that led to a shooting. Surveillance footage reportedly showed the victim being chased by Cohen before four shots rang out. One of the bullets struck the man in the back, First Coast News reported.
The two suspects fled the scene after the shooting, but they were later arrested after an anonymous tip helped investigators in apprehending them. Following their arrest, Flowers said Cohen gave a different account of what transpired.
“His side of the story was that they were struggling over the gun and it went off,” Flowers told WPTV.
The two teachers have since been fired from the schools they worked as Physical Education teachers. Cohen was a teacher at the Indian River Academy while Hallback taught at the Sebastian Elementary School.
“There’s an expectation we have for employees in our school district, whether it’s inside the classroom or whether it’s in the community. … Unfortunately, these two individuals fell drastically short of that expectation,” Indian River County Superintendent Dr. David Moore said.
Moore added the fired teachers had just started their jobs at the respective schools. “There is no place for this in our school system,” Moore said. “There is no place for this in our community.”
Cohen has been charged with attempted murder, while Hallback has been hit with drug charges.