A five-year-old girl tragically lost her life after she was accidentally shot in the face by her friend while they were playing in a Lithonia home in Georgia, DeKalb County police investigators said. The girls reportedly found the loaded handgun unattended to in one of the rooms.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the children’s babysitter, who also happens to be the grandmother of one of them, told the police she was in the kitchen when she heard a gunshot from the bedroom, followed by crying. When she rushed to the room, she found the victim – identified as Jada Willingham – on the floor with a gunshot wound to her face, and her playmate standing by her with the gun.
“I only pulled (the trigger) back a little bit,” the little girl who pulled the trigger said. The two had been friends and playmates since they were born.
Per the police incident report, officers who responded to the scene of the incident on December 4, found the injured victim on the floor with the babysitter kneeling by her trying to stop the bleeding with a cloth. Jada was transported to a local hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
“Word can’t explain how that little girl was, and I’ll never see her again. I’ll never get another Jada,” the deceased’s mother, Keisha Walker, told Fox 5 Atlanta.
The babysitter told the police the girls were playing together with two other children in the home when the pair found a gun. The two then took it to a bedroom, and Jada told her playmate to pull the trigger. The minor, who took the police to where they found the gun, told authorities she was unaware there were bullets in the weapon, the incident report stated.
“She grabbed my hand and led me down the hall into her parents’ room and advised she located it on the floor on top of a small ammo box beside the bed,” an officer wrote in the report.
A DeKalb arrest warrant said the girls found the weapon – a 9mm Smith & Wesson – “without a holster, full magazine, with a round chambered.” The gun belonged to the mother of one of the children, who is in the military, the incident report stated.
Following the shooting, 36-year-old Chad Brooks Sr. was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to children. The police allege Brooks, who is the father of the other children, left the gun unattended.
A GoFundMe has been set up by Walker to help raise funds to cover Jada’s funeral expenses. On the fundraiser page, Walker described her deceased daughter as a “beautiful loving little girl”, adding that she was “killed due to negligence on behalf of her babysitter and other people she trusted.”
“Due to this sad accident a mother is without her beautiful 5 year old daughter this holiday season,” she wrote.
“Please find it in your hearts to give this baby the best home going service. This 5 year old little girl will never get to see another birthday, holidays, school graduation again and it isn’t fair. We would like to give Jada the home going service a princess deserves. Jada loved Barbie dolls, lol, and she loved to paint.”