CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Two teenagers, a 13-year-old and 14-year-old, were arrested in connection with the shooting death of a 12-year-old girl who was killed inside a home in Riverdale.
Officers responded to the shooting Wednesday night and found Sakhya Monea Bentley unresponsive. She was transported to a hospital, where she died.
Police said several children were at the home at the time of the shooting, which appeared to be accidental.
The child's mother said she scolded her daughter on FaceTime about having boys over while she was not there, minutes before she was shot.
"I literally talked to my child about 15 to 20 minutes," Bentley's mother, Nyeisha Brown, said.
Brown told Channel 2 Action News she spoke with her daughter for about 20 minutes before she was accidentally shot by someone who should not have been at her home on Adel Lane.
"I had just talked to her about boys being in my yard and having company," Brown said.
Clayton County police believe one of those boys had a gun.
Brown said she devoted her life to caring for her daughter who struggled with asthma. She told Channel 2 Action News she braced herself for the worst due to her daughter's health issues.
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“It really makes me sad that my last words were of a scolding mom,” Brown said.
Brown said her new mission in life is to save other lives after her daughter lost hers.
The mother said she has questions about a society where young people have easy access to guns.
"How did it end up in his hands? There's so many other questions," Brown said.
Brown praised officers for quickly arresting the two suspects, even though she said her heart goes out to them and their families.
A Clayton County homicide detective made a promise to the family that she would find those responsible.
"[The detective] was very emotional. She went into the fact that she's a mother and her children are the same age," Brown said. "The detective definitely looked us in the face and just let us know that she wasn't going to sleep until she had the gentlemen who were responsible in custody."
The teen suspects each face charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless conduct and possession of a weapon by a minor, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"Whenever they came around, for whatever reason good or bad, I'm just thankful they got caught," Sakhya Bentley's father, Chantel Bentley, said.
"I'm upset with them very much so for being irresponsible. These children are old enough to at least know what they were doing was wrong," Brown said.
But even as she grieves this loss, Brown said she feels compassion for the teens who were arrested. She especially feels bad for their mothers.
"Even though I lost my daughter, in the physical, they're losing their children too," Brown said.
Sakhya Bentley's family set up a GoFundMe account to help cover funeral expenses. If you'd like to donate, click here.
Cox Media Group