5-year-old Jada Willingham, from Georgia, was fatally shot last week, and authorities believe the person who accidentally pulled the trigger was her little friend.
Jada Willingham died on Friday, soon after arriving at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WXIA-TV and WAGA-TV.
She’d been shot in the face in what police suspect was an accidental shooting.
However, detectives continue to investigate the shooting inside a home in Lithonia.
Investigators spoke to Jada’s longtime babysitter, who was in the house when the tragedy unfolded.
The 68-year-old woman told DeKalb County police investigators Jada was one of four children she was watching at the time of the shooting.
According to the Journal-Constitution, police arrived at the home at about 3:20 p.m., to find the babysitter kneeling on the ground next to Jada, using a cloth to stop the bleeding.
According to the reports, the shooter and the victim had known each other their entire young lives.
The babysitter said the two girls had been been playing together, and apparently had found a loaded handgun, playing with it in a bedroom.
The babysitter recalled hearing the gunshot from where she was in the kitchen. Crying followed; she ran to the bedroom, and found Jada unconscious on the floor, bleeding from her face,
On Saturday, police charged 36-year-old Chad Brooks, Sr., with second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to children for allegedly leaving the gun unattended.
Brooks is currently in custody at the DeKalb County Jail. He’s yet to enter pleas to the charges he faces, and information on his attorney was unavailable Thursday.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established online to help Jada’s family pay for her impending funeral.
According to the GoFundMe page, Jada “was a beautiful, loving little girl” who loved Barbie dolls and painting.