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A one-year-old was killed after authorities sent out an Amber Alert. The alert was issued in fear that the child was kidnapped by her father in Newton County, Georgia.
Jaquari Bennett was confirmed dead on Sunday morning by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia stated that the investigation would be continued.
Also, a sheriff’s office staff member told NBC that the child was shot and killed by Georgia resident Darian Javaris Bennett, her father. He then commits suicide.
It is believed that the father also killed 38-year-old Georgia resident Keashawn Washington, the mother of the child, before the kidnapping.
Also, the child’s grandmother, 63-year-old Peggy Burns, was shot in the head. She was brought to a hospital in Georgia in critical condition. Before being brought to the hospital, Burns told police that Bennett shot her and her daughter Washington.
The sheriff’s office got the 911 call at approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sunday from Bennett stating he was going to kill his daughter and commit suicide. Police then used GPS to track Bennett’s vehicle. It was found abandoned at the corner of Adams and Riverdale Drive in front of the Riverdale United Methodist Church in Newton County, Georgia.
As law enforcement arrived at the location, gunshots were heard. Then, they found the child shot to death, and the father died.
The police presence in the community that day shocked the neighbors. Fred McClurkin, a neighborhood resident, explained that his wife woke him up as the commotion took place. Then, he said, “I walk out, and cops are everywhere.”
McClurkin also stated that he sometimes drove the child’s grandmother to her treatments for cancer. On Friday, he sat with the child and the grandmother on his porch in Georgia and mentioned how much she had grown in only a year. The child was killed before she knew how to walk.
“A coward does that. What is the world coming to?” McClurkin proclaimed. He said that Washington had two other children. They were in the house during the shooting. They then ran across the street and were safe.
McClurkin explained that it was crazy. The children were crying, and their mother and sister were gone. They have no idea what is going on. He had moved into the area seven years ago because of how quiet it was. So he is surprised at the violent acts that took place right next door.
Police stated that emotions also tend to run higher in domestic situations, causing them to be volatile. Sgt. Jack Redlinger with the Newton County Georgia Sheriff’s Office suggests that parents concerned for their family’s safety do custody exchanges in a public place near police to ensure safety.
Written by Marrissa Kay
Fox 5 Atlanta: Deaths of mother, 1-year-old girl stun Newton County neighbors
NBC News: Baby girl found fatally shot after abduction by father; By Doha Madani
WSB-TV 2 Atlanta: Father kidnaps, kills 1-year-old and her mom in murder-suicide, grandmother in critical condition