A southwest Atlanta teen is dead after a stray bullet shot through her home and killed her as she slept.
Jessica Daniels was in her bed early Thursday morning when the bullet struck her and ended her life. Her mother had called the police to report the incident, and officers arrived at their home at around 6 a.m. on Oct. 3, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I heard the shots, I jumped up, I ran upstairs and I ran to the door first,” Daniels’ grandfather Sanders Love said to WSB. “And then I heard my daughter in the back say, ‘Jessica been shot,’ and I don’t know. I just lost it. It took the life out of me. I’d rather it be me than my granddaughter. That hurt me so bad and I’m not going to rest until somebody let me know something.”
Daniels graduated from South Atlanta High School in May. The teen’s aunt told CBS 46 that her niece woke up to the sound of gunfire and shoved her younger cousin to the floor, which saved her life. Daniels, however, was struck in the chest. Investigators said that three stray bullets came into the house and one of them struck the teen.
“We do believe there were at least two shooters and there was an exchange of gunfire that lasted several minutes probably,” Atlanta Police Department Lt. Andrea Webster told WSB.
Detectives located a minimum of 18 shell casings at the scene and they’ve determined they all came from at least two separate guns.
It is described as “a senseless crime” on a GoFundMe page that was established to raise money to honor the teen, who was set to go on a job interview the day she died.
“Jessica was a outgoing person,” read the GoFundMe description, adding that the teen was preparing to attend Alabama State next fall. “Jessica was the eldest of her siblings, she was the life of the party. We are asking for any donations the family is having a hard time with this, we were not expecting this sudden death. We were no prepared for this no donation is to big or to small. We the Family Thank you in our time of sorrow.”
In search of answers as to who shot and killed Daniels, the APD has upped the reward offered for information on the suspect. A $2,000 reward was initially proposed, but the local police department provided additional funds, which increased the total reward to $10,000.