Hendersonville, Tenn. — Hendersonville police said the father who shot his 11-year-old daughter after school on Monday afternoon did not intentionally shoot her.
According to a police affidavit, Timothy Batts said he shot Timea Batts after she screamed and scared him.
Timea, a sixth grader at Knox Doss Middle School at Drakes School, had just returned home from the first day of school.
He told police that he shot his daughter after being awakened by a sound in the house. He said he got the gun from his dresser and shot it.
Timothy Batts, 29, has been charged with reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, false reporting and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the shooting death of Timea at their Shady View Drive home.
He is being held in the Sumner County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Police said Timothy Batts took Timea to TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center after the shooting. She was flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she died around 4:30 p.m.
Originally, police were told that Timea was shot between the bus stop near their home and their house. Police were told the young girl went into the house and told her dad that she had been shot.
After obtaining a search warrant to enter the home, police discovered that Timea had actually been shot inside the home.
A memorial for Timea grew larger by the hour on Tuesday. People in the Hendersonville community dropped off flowers, candles, stuffed animals and cards outside her home.
“She was beautiful. She was fun. She was always up-tempo, upbeat, always wanted to do fun stuff. She was always loving,” said Jerrie Lockridge, a neighbor.
“I live way over in another town, but I feel compassion for her and she was just a beautiful little girl. It’s a tragedy,” said Andrea Moss, who came to show her support.
Lockridge said her daughter was close friends with Timea and knew the family.
“I don’t have an ill word to say about them. They were both nice people, fun, loving, caring. Their kids didn’t need or want for anything. They were great parents from what I knew,” she said.
A family member said Timea ran and did cheerleading and dance. Students and staff at her school wore pink in her honor Tuesday.
“As a family that knew her, we want to be there for this family,” Lockridge said. “Because I would want somebody to be there for me if this happened to my girl.”
Timothy Batts’ family issued the following statement concerning the shooting:
“Timothy was the best father a child could ask for. He has always been there for Timea and his other children. 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”