A Georgia mother was arrested for fatally shooting her 2-year-old daughter, authorities say.
The Newton County Sheriff's Office received a call from Jennifer Bellah about the death at around 5:53 pm on August 28, sparking an investigation, according to Fox 5, an Atlanta-based Fox affiliate. Bellah allegedly told law enforcement that she had shot her daughter, Natalya Bellah, with a firearm. Police arrived to find Nataly's unresponsive body and a coroner pronounced the child dead at the scene.
Jennifer Bellah was detained for questioning shortly thereafter, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, an Atlanta, Georgia-based news organization.
Deputy Favel Edwards described the scene as a "penetrating trauma," according to Fox 5.
“It is believed Jennifer Bellah ... committed the crime without assistance,” Edwards added, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The family of Jennifer Bellah has fully cooperated with law enforcement.”
Deputies executed a search warrant to collect evidence on the killing. Investigators were able to find a pistol, a spent shell casing, and spent bullets from inside the home. They believe the mother and child were the only people at the home at the time of the death.
Jennifer was charged with murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. She will appear in court on Aug. 30.
Neighbors were shocked by the child's death.
"[They] seemed to be just a happy family,” Jackie Kendrick, who lives close to the Bellah household, told WSBTV, another Atlanta, Georgia-based news organization. “I did not expect to come home and see this in my community. I’m really sorry about that, and it breaks my heart. This was a baby. A 2-year-old baby. It’s devastating.”
Michael Robinson, another neighbor, concurred.
"It's just unthinkable," Robinson told WSBTV.
A motive for the killing has not yet been reported.
[Photo: Newton County Sheriff's Office]