A 57-year-old Baltimore man was fatally shot early Friday morning after he grabbed a gun and tried to intervene in the robbery of a relative in Canton, police said.

Darrell L. Benner was found dead in the 1000 block of S. Curley Street after three unidentified men robbed a relative, police said.

Benner’s nephew, 30-year-old Jeffrey Tyree, told The Banner the robbers took his phone, wallet and his red Dodge Charger with Maryland tag 3FL1240.

Tyree said he was attempting to move his car to a parking spot closer to his home, like he does most nights, when a man approached him from another vehicle at the top of the block.

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“Two were outside their car and one of them had a handgun. He got me right there [in the middle of the block] and told me to take all my shit out,” Tyree said. “I have babies to worry about, so I let him start taking my stuff.”

Tyree said his uncle, Benner, came out with BB gun and tried to stop one of the men from stealing the car when the other two rushed over and shots were fired.

“It happened so fast. The shots rang out and then my uncle’s body dropped to the ground,” Tyree said.

Tyree said he is disturbed by the shooting and said his uncle died a “hero.” He also said he did not get into a physical altercation with the robbers.

Southeastern District officers responded to the scene around 12:25 a.m. Benner was pronounced dead a short time later.

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Beth Szczepaniak, 45, has lived on S. Curley Street for more than 20 years. She and Benner would often see each other in passing.

“He was a great guy and great neighbor, so this is pretty tragic,” Szczepaniak said. “He always had great stories to share and had a friendly word.”

Szczepaniak said she and her husband will continue to be on alert as they raise their two children in the Canton area.

“Incidents like these always increase your fear and awareness of living in the city, but I love my neighborhood and neighbors so this won’t affect our decision to stick around,” she said.

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penelope.blackwell@thebaltimorebanner.com

lillian.reed@thebaltimorebanner.com

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