Ga. Girl, 7, Is Killed by Stray Bullet When Dispute at Family Gathering Escalates to Gunfire

According to her family, 7-year-old Ava Phillips was struck in the head by the bullet

On August 27th , the life of Ava Phillips was taken tragically by a senseless act of gun violence
Ava Phillips. Photo: Gofundme

One person has been arrested while another is still at large in connection to the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl at an Atlanta family gathering over the weekend, police say.

According to the Atlanta Police Department, 44-year-old Kemeka Springfield was arrested Monday on charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

It was not immediately clear if she has retained an attorney to comment on her behalf or entered a plea to the charges.

A second suspect, 23-year-old Deshon Collins, is at large and has a warrant out for his arrest on charges of murder, cruelty towards children, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, police say.

During a news conference Saturday, Deputy Chief Charles Hampton Jr., confirmed the death of the girl, who was identified by family as Ava Phillips.

The shooting took place at an Atlanta apartment complex. Hampton told reporters a "domestic incident that escalated" that evening resulted in Ava being killed by a stray bullet to the head.

"Any death is tragic, but when there's a child involved, it really hits home," Hampton said.

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Speaking to WAGA-TV, Ava's father Jonathan Phillips said he had dropped his daughter and son off at their mom's apartment for the weekend.

Shortly after, Ava was killed.

"We got a call last night … they were frantic saying she had been shot in the head," Phillips said.

He called the death of his only daughter "unbearable."

"The worst thing imaginable," Phillips said, per the station.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact homicide detectives at (404) 546-4235.

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