AURORA | An Aurora teenager has been accused of fatally shooting his cousin after a .380-caliber handgun he was twirling on his finger went off in his car, court documents reveal.
Aurora police arrested Darius Banks, 19, early Monday morning and charged him with a pair of felonies: manslaughter and attempting to influence a public servant, according to an arrest affidavit filed against Banks.
Police responded to the intersection of East 13th Avenue and Newark Street shortly after 7 p.m., July 14 on reports of a car crash in the area, according to the arrest document.
First responders discovered a silver Hyundai sedan had collided head-on with a gray Suzuki vehicle. Banks was driving the Hyundai with his 19-year-old cousin in the passenger seat.
Investigators discovered Banks’ cousin had been shot on the left side of his body, and rushed him to University Hospital for treatment. He was pronounced dead there about 20 minutes later.
The Arapahoe County Coroner’s office is expected to formally identify the slain man after his family is notified in the coming days.
After initially outlining a pair of alibis to police, Banks later admitted he accidentally shot his cousin while twirling a black handgun on his finger. He said he and his cousin were sitting in the Hyundai, which was parked outside of Banks’ home on Lansing Street, when he asked to see his cousin’s gun.
Banks told investigators the gun landed in his cousin’s lap after it went off. His cousin then jumped out of the car, causing the gun to be flung onto the sidewalk. The cousin then ran around the back of the car before Banks yelled, “Bro,” and the injured man got back into the car.
Banks was on his way to take his cousin to the hospital when he crashed into the Suzuki near 13th and Newark, he told police.
“Banks admitted he lied about his first story because he was afraid of getting into trouble,” according to the affidavit.
Investigators later found a black handgun, bloody shirt and a cell phone lying on the sidewalk in front of Banks’ home. Police also used surveillance video footage and interviews with a neighbor who reported hearing a gunshot in the area at approximately 7 p.m. to pin Banks to the crime.
Banks is currently being held at the Arapahoe County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash or surety bond, according to county records. His next court appearance has not yet been scheduled.