An 11-year-old Tennessee girl was fatally shot and killed by her father after returning home from the first day of 6th grade on August 8, authorities allege.
Police charged Timothy Batts, 29, with the death of his daughter Timea, according to the New York Daily News. Batts had reportedly first told law enforcement that Timea had been hit by gunfire while walking home from her bus stop.
Batts faces a charge of reckless homicide, which indicates that police believe that his apparent shooting of Timea was unplanned.
"There was no evidence that was his plan. It wasn’t premeditated," said Hendersonville Police Sergeant Jim Vaughn.
Batts has also been charged with tampering with evidence, false reporting, and being a felon in possession of a firearm, NBC News reports.
He originally claimed that Timea came home at roughly 3:30 p.m. bleeding from gunfire which she received on her walk home from the bus stop. However, investigators later determined that Timea had been shot inside of the house rather than in front of it.
Batts was arrested after driving Timea to the hospital with a gunshot wound in her chest. His bond has been set at $1 million.
In a statement, Sumner County School District spokesman Jeremy Johnson said:
"Our entire school district is grieved to learn of the tragic loss of one of our sixth grade students, Timea Lashay Batts. Timea was a bright and kind girl who was well loved by her classmates and teachers."
The 11-year-old's grieving neighbors have reportedly been bringing teddy bears, flowers, and candles to the Batts' home.
"She's only 11," said one neighbor. "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."