Mother-in-Law Charged in Shooting Death of Atlanta Kindergarten Teacher, Killed Feet from Her Sons: Reports
An Atlanta-area kindergarten teacher was fatally shot Thursday within earshot of her two young sons and her estranged mother-in-law has been accused in her death, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Elizabeth Wall, 63, was arrested soon after she allegedly shot 35-year-old Jenna Wall at the home of Jenna’s parents, where Jenna and her kids had moved following the start of a contentious divorce between Jenna and her husband, Jerrod, according to the AJC.
According to jail records, Elizabeth remained with no bond in the Cobb County jail Saturday morning. She has been charged with one count of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and two counts of cruelty to children in the third degree.
It was not immediately clear if Elizabeth had pleaded to those charges, or if she has retained an attorney. Jail records listed none on file.
Police allege that Elizabeth went to Jenna’s home late Thursday morning, where she shot Jenna in the kitchen after taking Jenna’s sons, 7 and 8, to the car outside, according to the AJC. Elizabeth allegedly called Jerrod and told him to come pick up the boys. Then she allegedly went back inside to shoot Jenna.
When Jerrod arrived at the home, he found his mother in the living room with a gun to her head, police said, according to the AJC.
Authorities have not commented on a possible motive, according to the paper, and Cobb police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. But Jenna’s death comes as the end to heated legal proceedings between her and her estranged husband.
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According to court documents obtained by CBS46, the two were married in 2004 and Jenna filed for divorce in 2015. But Jerrod, an investigator with the Paulding County District Attorney, alleged in his response that Jenna was having an affair with a high school boyfriend, a fact she revealed only after filing for divorce.
Jerrod sought permanent custody of their children, alleging Jenna was emotionally and financially unstable, according to CBS46.
Jenna, a graduate of the University of Georgia and Mercer University, was born and raised in the same community where she was killed, according to her school blog.
After several years working in sales and management, she wrote, “My passion has always been working with children and I took the leap of faith and started back to school to earn my teaching certificate.”
She taught at two other schools before moving to Kemp Elementary School in Cobb County, a 3-mile drive from the scene of the shooting.
On her blog, she wrote, “I am excited to join the Kindergarten team for what I know will be an AMAZING year!”
In a statement to PEOPLE, Kemp Elementary Principal Shea Thomas mourned Jenna’s loss:
“Jenna was a beloved member of the Kemp community – we are all heartbroken. She was an excellent teacher, a caring friend and a very loving mother. Her boys were everything to her. Her positive spirit and smile will be greatly missed.”