11-year-old Spalding County girl killed by stray bullet, wanted man on the run
GRIFFIN, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - An all-out police effort is underway in Spalding County to find a man wanted for murder in connection to the death of an 11-year-old girl.
“He’s a monster,” said Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix. “Right now, knowing that he did this and him being out, that’s what makes him so dangerous. He has a complete disregard for human life.”
Kionta Jahaun Parks is accused of shooting at someone at the Northside Hills Apartments in Griffin around 1 a.m. on Tuesday. Sheriff Dix said one of the bullets traveled through the bedroom of a little girl who was sleeping, striking her in the head. She died instantly.
The girl’s mother confirmed her identity as Asijah Love Jones and provided a photo of her daughter to Atlanta News First.
Griffin Spalding County Schools confirmed Asijah was a Cowan Road Middle School student. In a letter sent to parents, the district said,
“It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you that a Cowan Road Middle School 6th Grade Student passed away last night at home. We are deeply saddened by the death of a student and express our sincere condolences to the family along with everyone at Cowan Road Middle School.”
Atlanta News First Reporter Asia Wilson spoke with a student who said she is the victim’s close friend.
“She was the first person that became my friend at the beginning of the school year, and she actually understood me,” said Natalie Lind. “She was just a really good friend to me, and we had all classes together and she’s really good at art,” she said.
Lind’s mother said her daughter called her early Tuesday morning after the school informed students about the tragedy.
“This morning Natalie called, and it was from her friend, cell phone, I could tell she was crying, but I could never get out of her what was wrong,” said Maegan Cosper, Lind’s mother. “She cried and cried and cried and cried for hours, she sat here and cried,” Cosper said. “She’s just scared for the rest of her friends that live there,” she said.
As Lind is grieving, she said she wants the world to remember her friend.
“She was really good in school, and she never got in trouble,” Lind said. “She was just really good to anybody and everybody,” she said. “I feel sad for everybody because it wasn’t just me losing a friend, it was a lot of people, and even the teachers at Cowan Road Middle School,” she added.
Monique Spencer’s apartment is about 100 feet from where the girl was killed. She said a bullet could easily hit one of her two boys.
“I would be ripped apart,” she said. “Her mama probably kissed her goodnight and said, ‘I love you.’ She probably had plans to go to school, meet her friends, play on the playground. It’s gone.”
Neighbors like Axia Davis called for an end to the senseless violence, while also demanding better security at the complex.
“It’s got to stop,” she said. “It’s children, women, running all throughout this complex. This shouldn’t be a battleground for them. It shouldn’t.”
Sheriff Dix said Parks has an extensive criminal history. While investigating the shooting death of the girl, whose name has not been released, deputies were able to tie Parks to another shooting that happened at the complex in Feb. No one was hurt in that incident.
Authorities are still trying to figure out if there was another shooter, but Dix said the shooting may have been gang-related.
“It’s so infuriating to know there are children who have to live in this fear every day of their lives and it’s uncalled for,” Dix said. “It’s ridicules and folks need to get control of themselves.”
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Parks is asked to call the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office at 770-467-4282. Authorities said Parks should be considered armed and dangerous.
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