Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Murder Tapes: Killer on Camera’ features the senseless murder of 26-year-old Darian Hardison, a father of four, outside an Akron, Ohio, sports bar in late October 2017. However, the authorities quickly solved the homicide with the help of CCTV footage from the pub where the shooting occurred. If you’re curious to learn more about the case, including the killer’s identity and current whereabouts, we’ve you covered. Let’s dive in then, shall we?
How Did Darian Hardison Die?
Darian A. Hardison was born to the late Stephanie A. Smeresky and Darren L. Hardison in Camden in Camden County, New Jersey, on June 20, 1991. After their mother died when they were 12, Darian, his identical twin brother, Danté S. Hardison, and their sister, Lillian T. Smeresky, moved to Akron in Summit County, Ohio, with their grandmother, Susan Mars, in 2003. Lillian recollected, “Darian was an extremely intelligent kid and wanted to be a pilot growing up.” He had a great sense of humor that always made everyone around him laugh and smile.
By October 2017, the 26-year-old had four children — Deairis Scott Hardison, Kiara Hardison, Taylor and Harper Vann. According to the show, Darian was incredibly kind-hearted and “would give his shirt off his back to anyone in need.” Hence, it was shocking when he was shot outside the Halftime Sports Pub on South Main Street on October 20, 2017, while partying with a friend at the Akron sports bar. By the time the police and the EMTs arrived at the scene and offered medical assistance, the father of four was pronounced dead.
Who Killed Darian Hardison?
The Akron Police Department received several distressing 911 calls around 11:23 pm on October 20 regarding a shooting near the Halftime Sports Pub. As the officers raced to the scene, they were stopped by an unclothed man running on the street and signaling. Initially thinking he was intoxicated, the police made him sit on the sidewalk grass and identify himself. He stated he was Derrick Comby, then 28, and was in excruciating pain, pleading with the authorities to call for an ambulance.
It was then the officers noticed he had been shot in the abdomen. However, Derrick was unable to furnish further information at the time and was rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, the police continued toward the Halftime Sports Pub to investigate the shooting incident. They arrived at the spot but could not find anything until a helpful 911 caller came forward and pointed them toward where he heard the shots. The police officers looked around until they found Darian’s body behind an open fence.
The EMTs declared him dead at the scene, and the police found a wallet beside the body that identified him as Darian. The investigators secured the crime scene and walked over to the adjacent sports bar to gather their surveillance tape. Darian’s autopsy report indicated he suffered from a single gunshot wound that entered through his upper right arm, went through his chest cavity, and struck his vital organs — including his heart, liver, and lung — before exiting through the left side of the body.
Going through the surveillance video, the police quickly identified a male suspect, who was seen talking with Derrick and Darian outside the bar on South Main Street bar in the Firestone Park neighborhood. The officers traced him through CCTV footage as he went inside the club, chatted with some friends in the Halftime Sports Pub, and then was captured on a surveillance video with a gun in his pocket. While the investigators could not immediately identify the suspect, they pinpointed the friends with help from the public.
Some of the witnesses came forward and helped them locate the other individuals seen on the video conversing with the suspect. Slowly a clear image of what had transpired that day emerged — the suspect, Queitin Tyler, had a disagreement with Derrick and Darian, both of Wooster, went inside to retrieve a gun from a friend, Le’Zonn Gervins, and ended up shooting the two. While both the victims ran from the area with gunshot wounds, Derrick survived, but Darian succumbed to his injuries.
Le’Zonn Gervins, then 32, was taken into custody and was initially accused of bringing the gun into the bar that Queitin used in the shooting. However, she pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstructing official business in late July 2018 after agreeing to testify against Queitin in his trial. In return, the prosecutors dropped charges against her of complicity to commit felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon. Apart from incriminating witness statements and CCTV footage, the authorities also positively identified Queitin from his tattoos.
A prison inmate came forward as the investigators compiled witness testimonies and other evidence against Queitin for arrest. He claimed Queitin had offered him money to kill two of his friends, who were in police custody, and would help the authorities to apprehend him. The law enforcement officials immediately gathered an arrest warrant, but Queitin surprisingly turned himself in before the police traced him. He denied involvement and claimed he was with his girlfriend in another part of the city at the time of the shooting.
Where is Queitin Tyler Now?
However, Queitin’s cell phone records showed he was in Firestone Park when the double shooting happened. He testified he fired in self-defense after getting into an argument with Derrick and Darian over cigarettes outside the bar, and the pair pulled out a gun. The prosecution countered by stating he got a gun from Le’Zonn and shot the duo because he felt they disrespected him. Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan Baumoel remarked Darian was an innocent victim of Queitin’s “senseless violent nature.”
After Le’Zonn testified against him during his September 2018 trial, a jury found him guilty of murder, felonious assault, illegal possession of a firearm in liquor premises, and carrying a concealed weapon. He was sentenced to 23 years to life in October 2018. Judge Alison McCarty chastised him and said, “In this situation, your actions were so uncalled for. They were outrageous and insufficiently provoked.” The 39-year-old remains incarcerated at Marion Correctional Institution. His inmate records state he will be eligible for parole in September 2040.