An 11-year-old Tennessee girl was shot by her father after her first day of middle school.
Timothy Batts, 29, told police that he accidentally shot and killed his daughter, Timea Batts, on Monday afternoon “when she yelled and scared him,” according to court documents filed in Sumner County.
He told police he was asleep at the time but woke up when he heard sound and got a gun from his dresser, The Tennessean reported, citing the documents. He then shot the girl in the torso, the documents read.
Police, however, said that Batts originally had told detectives his daughter told him she had been shot after getting off the school bus. When officials searched his home, it was revealed that the shooting took place inside the residence, and the weapon he used was removed from the home. As a result, his first statements were “not truthful,” the documents said.
“The defendant came to the police department later and stated he wanted to tell the truth about what happened, and admitted the story he previously told was not the truth,” an affidavit said. “The defendant removed the gun from the scene and stated the gun was now in Nashville.”
According to WTAE, Batts drove his wounded daughter to TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center. She was then flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Timea was pronounced dead just two hours later.
Batts has been charged with reckless homicide, false reporting, possessing a firearm as a felon, and evidence tampering. He was jailed and is being held on $1 million bond. He has previous drug convictions, police said.
Timea’s death rocked the community.
“She’s only 11,” neighbor Leanna McKee told NBC News. “She hasn’t even gotten her first car, hasn’t even gone to high school, hasn’t even experienced life yet, so that’s kind of sad.”
Counselors were sent to the school she attended, Knox Doss Middle School. “Timea was a bright and kind girl who was well loved by her classmates and teachers,” the Sumner County School District said in a statement. “She will be greatly missed.”
The incident took place before 3:30 p.m. on Monday at a home on Shady View Drive in Hendersonville, reports said.
A cousin of Batts attempted to create a GoFundMe page to raise funds for his bail, according to NewsChannel5, but it was apparently removed.