Police are searching for a 15-year-old Virginia teen who has been missing for three days after her mother was arrested for firing a gun to stop a violent confrontation with a group of teenagers in Woodbridge.
Lakisha Gaither, 35, told her daughter Brianna Stewart to go to her grandmother’s house in Fairfax following the alleged assault. Brianna was last seen Sunday morning.
On Saturday, police arrived at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Gable Ridge Turn after they received reports about gunshots fired.
Gaither tells NBC Washington she decided to speak with another girl’s mother after that girl got into a heated discussion with Brianna. Then, she says, one of the boys from the group turned violent and started attacking her daughter.
“I just wanted this group of guys to disperse,” Gaither told The Washington Times. “I didn’t know what they were going to do. I wanted him to stop hitting my child.”
"He didn’t walk away,” she tells NBC Washington. “He hit her and kept coming for her.”
Gaither owns a gun and openly carries in Virginia, which is legal. When she saw the boy attacking Stewart, Gaither fired a gunshot in the air to protect her daughter.
Gaither explained: “Because I do open carry, because I’m a registered gun owner and I open carry everywhere I go, I walked out to the middle of the parking lot where I was away from everybody, not near anybody, the not near the buildings or anything, and I unholstered my weapon, held it straight up in the air and shot straight in the air, one shot, to get him off of my child and to break this group up.”
Gaither has hired a lawyer who advised her not to speak with anyone about the charge she is facing. She said she just wants to find her daughter, but has “no clue where she is.”
Police are investigating her daughter’s disappearance.