The suspect in the murder of a 26-year-old male-to-transgender agreed to meet him for sex, according to a search warrant obtained by WNCN.
Derrick Lee Banner (pictured left), of Lenoir, North Carolina, was found dead in a car in the 1400 block of Rosetta Street around 3 a.m. on Charlotte's West Side on Tuesday.
Police in Mecklenburg County arrested 18-year-old Montavious Sanchez Berry and charged him with the murder of Banner.
Berry was also charged with armed robbery and shooting into an occupied vehicle.
According to the arrest warrant, Banner contacted the teenager by text message and asked him to meet up for sex. Berry was the last person Banner texted before he died.
Banner reportedly asked a friend to drive from Lenoir to Charlotte to meet with Berry during Hurricane Irma. The friend, who went by the name "Tooker", said he hid in the trunk of the car because Berry told Banner to come alone.
Both Banner and Tooker were undergoing hormone treatments to become more feminized. Banner was known to friends as "Derricka, aka Ms. Bow Wow".
Tooker says after arriving in Charlotte, Berry got into the car and they drove around Charlotte for an hour. At some point they parked on a street in a quiet residential neighborhood to have sex.
Tooker says he heard the moment Berry shot Banner in the car.
“I heard him say, ‘don’t point it at me like that, don’t point it at me like that’,” Tooker says. “Seconds after that I heard two gunshots.”
Tooker told police Banner popped the trunk open, and the suspect had fled on foot. Tooker said he performed resuscitation efforts on Banner.
“By the time the police got there I just could tell that he wasn’t alive,” Tooker says.
During a search of the vehicle, police recovered Banner's cell phone which contained a video of Banner and Berry “engaged in sexual activity" about 30 minutes before Banner was killed.
It isn't clear who recorded the video or if Berry knew he was being recorded.
Police arrested Berry late Tuesday night at his home on Dundeen Street.
Police searched Berry's home and found a cell phone that matched the number that Banner had been texting before he died.
Police say Banner and Berry knew each other and had met on previous occasions for sex.
Tooker believes Berry killed Banner because he was transphobic and in denial about his personal sexual proclivities.
“He’s a coward, he doesn’t know who he is,” Tooker says. “He tried something, didn’t like it, and couldn’t live with it.”
Banner's grandmother, Jo Banner, still mourns his loss.
“He didn’t deserve what he got,” Jo Banner says. “But he’s dead and he’s gone. And I loved him. He was my baby.”