5-Year-Old Accidentally Shot and Killed by Playmate After Loaded Gun Left Unattended

A five-year-old girl in Georgia was accidentally shot and killed last week by a young playmate after a loaded handgun was left unattended while they played, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The victim, Jada Willingham, was reportedly found bleeding from her face by the babysitter following a loud gunshot heard from another room. Her lifelong friend of the same age stood nearby with a gun in her hand.

Willingham died shortly after being taken to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital on December 4.

According to an incident report, DeKalb County police arrived at about 3:20 p.m. at the house in Lithonia, Georgia, where they found Willingham lying on the floor in a bedroom and the babysitter holding a cloth to the girl's face in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

Investigators said Willingham was one of four children in the house. The babysitter who found her was the 68-year-old grandmother of one of the children, according to the Journal-Constitution.

The babysitter told police that the two girls had been playing together and, at some point, they found a handgun, the police report said. The woman said that the children took the gun into a bedroom, where the victim reportedly told the other child to pull the trigger.

The other five-year-old showed police where she and the victim had found the weapon. The young girl told police she didn't know the gun contained bullets, and that she "only pulled (the trigger) back a little bit," according to the police report.

A Dekalb County officer wrote: "She grabbed my hand and led me down the hall into her parents' room and advised she located it on the floor on top of a small ammo box beside the bed.

Police said the young girls were playing with a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson.

Police tape
A file photo of a crime scene. A man was arrested and charged last week following the accidental shooting of a five-year-old girl due to an unattended loaded handgun. Getty

After the shooting, police obtained a search warrant for the home. No other children or adults were injured as a result of the gunfire.

The next day, Dekalb County police arrested 36-year-old Chad Brooks Sr., the father of the other children in the house that day, and charged him with second-degree murder and cruelty to children. Police indicated in the arrest warrant that the charges were due to leaving a handgun unattended.

The victim's mother, Keisha Walker, created a GoFundMe page last week to raise money for Willingham's funeral, which has brought in over $10,000 after the tragedy.

"Due to this sad accident a mother is without her beautiful 5-year-old daughter this holiday season," the GoFundMe page reads. "This 5-year-old little girl will never get to see another birthday, holidays, school graduation again, and it isn't fair."

Walker told FOX 5 reporter Brian Hill on Tuesday that she's demanding answers for the tragic death of her daughter.

"I don't know what happened to my daughter. All I know is she was accidentally shot, that's not enough," she said. "Words can't explain how that little girl was, and I'll never see her again. I'll never get another Jada."