An 18-year old woman is dead after a stray bullet flew into her southwest Atlanta home and hit her as she slept.
Gunfire erupted Thursday in the street outside the home in the 2900 block of River Ridge Drive, according to Atlanta police spokeswoman Lt. Andrea Webster. Officers were sent to the residence about 6 a.m. after a woman reported her daughter had been shot and killed.
When officers went inside the home, they found the victim with a gunshot wound to the chest, police said. Emergency medical officials confirmed she was dead.
Investigators learned there was an exchange between at least two shooters that may have lasted several minutes, Webster said. During that time, three stray bullets came into the house, one of which hit and killed the sleeping teen, she said.
“We can’t think of any reason she may have been the subject or the target,” Webster said.
The reward being offered in the case increased Thursday afternoon to $10,000.
The 18-year-old, identified by relatives as Jessica Daniels, graduated from South Atlanta High School in May, her mother told police.
Her aunt, Donna McClain, said the teen had a job interview scheduled for Thursday.
“She did not make it, by a stray bullet,” she told reporters from the scene.
Daniels’ grandfather said he was downstairs asleep when he heard gunshots ring out.
“I heard the shots, I jumped up, I ran upstairs and I ran to the door first,” Sanders Love said. “And then I heard my daughter in the back say, ‘Jessica been shot,’ and I just lost it.”
The teen’s mother and grandmother were also inside the house during the shooting. Webster said the shooting happened exclusively in the street and there is nothing to suggest anyone in the house was involved.
No one else was injured in the shooting.
Love said he and his family haven’t had any problems with violence near the home in the 11 years they’ve lived there.
“I heard shots. I’m thinking it’s just outside, then I hear it’s in the house. That’s what killed me,” Love said. “It took the life out of me. I’d rather for to it be me than my granddaughter because that hurt me so bad.”
Police canvassed the area and spoke to people who might have witnessed the incident.
“At this point we need the public’s assistance,” she said. “If anybody saw anything or heard anything or has any cameras that captured the incident, we really need their help.”
Daniels’ family asked the shooters to come forward.
“She was sleeping,” McClain said. “She was resting. And you just took her poor little life away.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to assist the family.
Thursday’s shooting was one of two involving stray bullets and children. In DeKalb County, a 4-year-old girl was in an apartment when a stray bullet hit her in the foot. Her injuries are not life-threatening.
Anyone with information about the deadly shooting in Atlanta is urged to call police at 404-291-6163.
Tipsters can remain anonymous, and be eligible for rewards of up to $2,000, by contacting Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477, texting information to 274637 or visiting the Crime Stoppers website. The Atlanta Police Foundation provided additional funds, bringing the total reward in the case to $10,000.
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