An Alabama woman has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting and killing a 10-month-old baby girl on Christmas Eve.
On Dec. 24, Tamika Stallworth of Monroe County allegedly opened fire into an occupied vehicle on County Road 42 in Peterman, striking the child, Jamaya Austin, in the face, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says in a statement.
Authorities said that Stallworth, the child’s great aunt, opened fire into the vehicle when she inadvertently struck Jamaya. Family members told local station WKRG they believe Stallworth was aiming for the driver.
The baby was rushed to a local hospital before she was transferred to USA Hospital, where she later died.
Stallworth was arrested on Dec. 24. Two days later she was charged with murder.
She is being held on a $750,000 bond. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney who can speak on her behalf or whether she has entered a plea.
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The baby’s family is devastated.
“A life, a precious life was lost in a very needless way,” the baby’s uncle, Charlie Stallworth, told local station WALA.
“Just an adorable baby,” he said. “It’s just so unfortunate. Difficult to understand and to put our minds around.”
He said he doesn’t know what led Tamika to open fire at the vehicle.
“I’ve never known Tamika to have a single violent bone in her body,” he told local station News 5. “She is always kind and compassionate, which makes the ordeal hard to grasp.”
He said the family is “trying to keep everyone in prayer during this tragic and unfortunate time.”