A 29-year-old father accidentally fatally shot his daughter after her first day of sixth grade and now faces severe charges.
Timothy Batts of Tennessee brought his 11-year-old daughter Timea to the emergency room Monday with a gunshot wound to her chest, initially claiming she had been shot while exiting a school bus.
Timea later died at the hospital. “She was amazing,” Jerrie Lockridge, the mother of one of Timea’s friends, reportedly told Fox 17. “She was beautiful, she was fun, she was always up-tempo, upbeat, always wanted to do fun stuff. She was just always loving, caring.”
After some investigating, police determined the shooting actually happened at the Batts’ home in Hendersonville. Batts turned himself into the police before they could confront him about the false story he gave, according to The Huffington Post.
Apparently, Batts was sleeping when his daughter came home from school. She allegedly “yelled and scared him” which prompted him to grab his gun and shoot, not realizing, at first, who it was. He also admitted to police that he had “removed the gun from the scene.”
Despite this tragic incident, neighbors told local reporters that Batts was a good father who played an active role in his children’s lives.
He had reportedly taken off work on Monday so that he could be home when Timea came back from her first day of junior high. His effort to be an attentive father; however, took a disastrous turn.
Batts has had a few run-ins with the law over the years including, two convictions for drug possession, four convictions for driving on a suspended license or without a license, and an aggravated assault charge.
Unfortunately, his criminal history also affects the charges he faces in relation to his daughter’s untimely death, which include possessing a firearm as a felon, tampering with evidence, and false reporting in addition to reckless homicide.
This devastating scenario has left their family and friends in mourning. People have placed stuffed animals, candles, and flowers outside of the Batts home, paying their respects to the innocent child who lost her life.
Accidental shooting deaths occur quite frequently as gun-toting parents often fail to practice adequate firearm safety around their children.
Batts may have turned his life around in an attempt to become a better father, but he was still breaking the law by having a gun in his possession. Instead of protecting his household, he let paranoia and fear get the best of him and his innocent daughter paid the price.
Banner Photo Credit: Twitter @NC5_DanKennedy