Indian River County PE teachers accused of entering stranger’s apartment, shooting resident

Both men have been fired from their jobs

Darius Cohen, left, and Akkua Hallback, right. (Courtesy of Indian River County Sheriff’s Office)

VERO BEACH, Fla. – Two new Indian River County physical education teachers were arrested on allegations of mistakenly walking into someone’s apartment, with one of them getting in bed with the resident, his partner and their baby, in an encounter that ended in a shooting, according to sheriff’s officials.

The two men, Darius Tyonne Cohen and Akkua Jamel Hallback, both 26, had reportedly been drinking and were caught on surveillance video Oct. 10 letting themselves into the apartment around 4 a.m., Indian River County sheriff’s investigators said.

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According to a sheriff’s report, the victim and his partner woke up to the sounds of voices and people in their home. When the victim asked Hallback what he was doing in his bed, Hallback answered that he and Cohen had the wrong apartment, according to the report. Cohen was using the bathroom when Hallback called him out to leave, the report stated.

Surveillance video showed the two men being escorted out of the apartment by the victim and into the parking lot, where a fight between Cohen and the victim broke out, officials said. Hallback tried breaking up the fight before Cohen ran after the victim with a gun, officials said. Four shots can be heard off-camera, according to the report.

“Cohen admitted that after the altercation with the victim, he came in possession of a firearm and shot at the victim as (he) was running away,” the report stated.

The report said the victim suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the back.

Both men were arrested four days later.

Cohen faces an attempted felony murder charge, and Hallback faces a charge of possession of controlled substance without a prescription, after drugs were found in his home, according to the sheriff’s report.

Both men had been recently hired by the Indian River County School District but have since been fired, officials said. Hallback taught at Sebastian Elementary. Cohen taught at Indian River Academy.

About the Author:

Lillian M. Hernández Caraballo joined News 6 in September.