Teen killed by stray bullet while asleep in her home, police say

Posted at 8:18 AM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 09:18:17-04

An Atlanta community is mourning the death of a recent high school graduate who was killed by a stray bullet while asleep in her bedroom.

Jessica Daniels, 18, was at home with her mother and grandfather early Thursday morning when three stray bullets came flying through the wall with one fatally striking the teen in the chest, according to police.

"I was downstairs asleep. I heard the shots and I jumped up," Daniel’s grandfather, Sanders Love, told reporters on the scene. "I heard shots. I’m thinking it’s just outside. Then I hear them in the house."

"And then I heard my daughter in the back scream, 'Jessica's been shot,' and I just lost it. I'd rather for it to be me than my granddaughter," he added.

Investigators arrived to the family's home in southwest Atlanta at around 5:30 a.m. and found Daniels unresponsive. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

"That hurts me so bad and I'm not going to rest until somebody lets me know something," Love said.

Police found at least 18 shell casings from two guns outside of the home, indicating an apparent shootout. There was no evidence to suggest Daniels was the intended target, police said.

"Our victim was lying in bed when she was shot a single time and killed on the scene," Atlanta Police Department Lt. Andrea Webster told reporters Thursday. "We're not sure if the house was targeted. … We can't think of any reason why she may have been a target."

Daniels, who graduated from South Atlanta High School in May, was scheduled to attend a job interview later that morning, according to her family.

Police are offering up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest. There were no suspects or leads as of Thursday evening.

"We believe that the gunfire took place exclusively on the street," Webster said. "We don't know who the shooters are. We're canvassing the area for witnesses and any video cameras that may have captured the incident."

"At this point, we need the public’s assistance … we really need their help," she added.