• 12-year-old shot in the neck after gunmen open fire on home, police say

    By: Matt Johnson

    Updated:

    HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - Police say a 12-year-old girl was shot in the neck when someone opened fire on a home in Henry County on Thursday night.

    Layla Kendall’s family told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson that the girl is expected to make it but not without a long road to recovery while police look for two gunmen.

    When bullets hit a house along Pates Lake Way off Jonesboro Road late Thursday night, Layla’s godmother said there was no time to panic.

    “My job was to make sure she made it,” she said, asking only to be identified as Shawna. “I had to do what I was trained to do, and that was to save her life."

    Layla is recovering now, in part because her godmother was able to use her skills as a nurse.

    “I kept her head, kept her stable, kept talking to her so she could respond until 911 could get there,” Shawna said.


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    Henry County police say that someone opened fire on the house. When Johnson arrived at the home Friday, he counted 12 bullets holes on the outside of the house.

    Layla was visiting a friend when police say the shooting happened at around midnight

    “We heard some knocks at the door, and we didn't open the door, and the officer said it was good we didn’t open the door because we could have been ambushed,” Shawna said. 

    Within seconds, they heard gunfire and Shawna rushed to help Layla, who was on the ground in the kitchen.

    “A 12-year-old child. She’s innocent, you know? Very, very innocent,” Shawna said. 

    Layla has injuries to her neck and lower body and spent Friday undergoing multiple surgeries.

    Friends, family and police say they do not know who's responsible but they know this could have been worse.

    “We all could have been dead. The whole house could have been dead, not even knowing the reason behind it,” Shawna said. 

    Johnson checked with Henry County police, and they say they are looking for two suspects who left in a dark gray BMW.

    The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help with the girl's expenses.

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