Uncle charged in 3-year-old's death

Updated:

ATLANTA - A child was killed in a shooting at a southwest Atlanta home, Atlanta police said.

The shooting happened at a home on Cushman Circle on Wednesday afternoon. The next day, police charged the girl’s uncle, 18-year-old Larenzo Montgomery, with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. Family members said the shooting was accidental.

“I guess he was just fumbling with the gun … and it went off,” Montgomery’s father, Malcolm, said.

News Chopper 2 flew over the scene as emergency crews ran to an ambulance carrying the child, who has been identified as 3-year-old Tikiara Garlington. Police told Channel 2's Ryan Young she was shot in the stomach.

Officers remained at the apartment throughout the evening collecting evidence and talked to family and neighbors trying to establish exactly how the child was shot. Family members at the apartment said the child did not live there, but the apartment belonged to the grandmother of the girl.

Police interviewed four people, including the girl’s mother. Investigators told Channel 2’s Amy Napier Viteri they found a handgun inside the apartment.

Montgomery was denied bond at his first court appearance Thursday, but his father said he should have been released.

“Because it was an accident and it was his niece. He loved his niece. He would never do anything to hurt his niece,” Malcolm Montgomery said.

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