‘I just heard her scream’: Sister recalls horror when 11-year-old was shot in bed

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

Suspect in Spalding County fatal shooting still on the run

Her nightmares had just started to end. Several months ago, a gunshot came through 10-year-old Angel Jones’ bedroom wall, making it hard for her to sleep peacefully since.

But that’s what she was trying to do last week when it happened again.

She was beside her older sister, asleep in their queen-size bed, when the gunshots started this time.

“I heard gunshots and I stood up because I was used to it happening,” Angel told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Her 11-year-old sister, Asijah, stayed in the bed. Angel heard her mother come out of her room to check on her three children while the barrage continued.

“We started crawling toward each other, but Asijah didn’t come,” Angel said.

Then, Angel, her 14-year-old brother Tyrell and her mother heard Asijah cry out. She had been hit by a bullet fired from outside her family’s Spalding County apartment.

“There were so many bullets, but only she was hit,” Angel said. “I just heard her scream.”

By the time deputies and paramedics arrived, Asijah had died. She was a month away from her 12th birthday. A week after the girl’s death, Spalding deputies are still searching for the man they believe fired the shot that killed her around 1 a.m. March 14.

Kionta Jahaun Parks was charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to children, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, violation of the street gang act, and violation of the domestic terrorism statute, the sheriff’s office said. He was not in custody late Monday.

Credit: Spalding County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Spalding County Sheriff's Office

Parks, who was previously known to law enforcement, should be considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who comes in contact with him should call 911.

While awaiting justice, Asijah’s family must now prepare for the funeral for the Cowan Road Middle School sixth grader.

“Asijah was such a loving and talented little girl with big dreams and a funny personality,” a family member posted on a GoFundMe page. “Words cannot describe the pain our family is enduring right now.”

Marcus Jones said he last saw his daughter a few days before she died. Asijah had ridden with him to a convenience store.

“The last time I saw her, I told her she could buy anything she wanted,” he said.

It was just snacks, but Jones said he’s grateful now for being able to make her happy.

When his girls were younger, they were often mistaken for twins, Jones said.

“Your kids are so beautiful,” others would tell him. “I heard it all the time.”

And though their older, half-brother wasn’t his biological son, Jones treated him as though he was. Since a gunshot came into their apartment in September, Jones said he had worried about the children’s safety.

Since her sister’s death, Angel has been staying with her father, who hopes she can finish the school year virtually. She and her sister weren’t always best friends, Angel said, but it’s hard to imagine her life without her.

Credit: Family photo

Credit: Family photo

“She doesn’t want to go back down the street where the apartment is,” Jones said. “I don’t want my child around that ignorance anymore.”

His children’s mother and Tyrell have moved into a different apartment in the same complex, but Jones said he isn’t sure if they’ll stay. For now, he’s hopeful Angel can stay with him and that her nightmares don’t return.

The funeral for Asijah is planned for Saturday. Peterson Funeral Home in Griffin is handling the arrangements. Anyone wishing to donate directly to the cost of the services is asked to call the funeral home at 678-692-8065.