An Ohio man shot dead his own 16-year-old daughter inside their family home on Wednesday after mistaking her for an intruder, police said on Thursday. Janae Hairston, the victim, was inside the family home when her father opened fire at her and mortally wounded her, NBC News said in a report on Thursday.
However, by the time police was called by the girl's mother, she was already dead, leaving the entire family in shock. The death of Hairston adds to the long list of gun violence victims in the United States this year although police see this incident as one of the most tragic.
On Wednesday, a shooting was reported around 4:30 am at a home near Canal Winchester on Piper Bend Drive. The girl, at that time only identified as a 16-year-old, was taken to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead around 5:40 am. The victim was later identified as Janae Hairston.
According to police, Hairston was inside the home's garage when the father opened fire at her thinking her to be an intruder at the wee hours of the morning. The mom realizing it immediately called 911 for help. "My husband made a mistake and shot her because he thought she was an intruder," the girl's frantic mom told a 911 dispatcher.
"She was in our garage and my husband just didn't know what was going on," she said. "Oh my God!"
The father, who hasn't been identified, immediately realized his mistake but it was too late although he tried to revive his daughter. According to NBC News, the father could be heard in the background during the 8-minute call pleading, "Breathe baby."
The entire family was home when a security alarm went off, the outlet reported citing sources familiar with the investigation. The father went to investigate the source of the alarm and ultimately shot and killed the teen who he thought was a burglar. After the shot hit the glirl she immediately collapsed and the family realized what had actually happened.
Both parents could be heard frantically begging their daughter to wake up, according to local newspaper The Columbus Dispatch, which obtained a recording of the call.
The Columbus Police Department said in a report posted on Twitter that the teen was rushed to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"We are saddened by this tragic loss and will make every effort to help students and families cope," said Hairston's school district, in a note to parents published by local press.
However, no charges have been filed in the incident as police is treating it as an accident and isn't holding the father responsible. The incident comes just two days after an off-duty North Carolina police officer shot and seriously injured his 15-year-old son in an apparent accident.