A Tennessee man who shot and killed his daughter as she made her way home from school Monday (Aug. 8), says he made a deadly mistake. Timothy Batts accidentally gunned down 11-year-old Timea Batts after her screams scared him, Nashville’s WSMV reports.
The 29-year-old dad told police that he was sleeping and awakened by what he thought was a strange sound. He pulled a gun out of his bedroom dresser and fired, hitting the chid who was returning from her first day of school.
Police were reportedly told that the girl walked inside the house and informed her father that she was shot. Batts then transported the child to a hospital, but she was later airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she died.
After initially telling cops that the girl was shot in between the home and a nearby bus stop, Batts confessed to not being “honest.”
According to the Tennessean, video footage from the home shows Batts with a gun and phone in hand moments before his daughter arrived.
Batts’ family called him “the best father a child could ask for,” in a joint statement.
“He has always been there for Timea and his other children,” reads the statement. “Birthdays, holidays, school functions, whatever the kids are involved in he is involved in. Not even just his own but to others as well! He is a all around stand up guy! Regardless of his past, when it came to Timea and his children he never faltered! He is as we call him ‘THE WORLDS GREATEST DAD.’”
A neighbor described Timea as a “beautiful” “fun,” “upbeat” child. “She was always loving,” said Jerrie Lockridge.
Authorities arrested Batts on charges of reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, false reporting, and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection. Batts was released from the Sumner County Jail Friday (Aug. 12), following a bond reduction from $1 million to $500,000.