Newton County

Father kidnaps, kills 1-year-old and her mom in murder-suicide, grandmother in critical condition

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — According to the GBI, one-year-old Jaquari Bennett has died after an Amber Alert was issued Saturday night.

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office says the baby was found shot to death behind a church in Riverdale in Clayton County.

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Darian Javaris Bennett, the suspect and father of the child, is also dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to deputies, Bennett shot the 1-year-old girl and himself. He also shot and killed the mother of the child and shot the child’s grandmother in the head.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office said at 11:14 p.m. Saturday, they went to 95 Chandler Field Drive in Covington on a call of a person who had been shot.

When they got to the location, 63-year-old Peggy Burns, the grandmother of the child, had been shot in the head.


Before being taken to the hospital, she told deputies that Bennett shot her and her daughter, Keashawn Washington, 38, who is the mother of 1-year-old Jaquari Bennett.

Washington is dead and Burns was taken to the hospital and is in critical condition, according to investigators.

Sunday morning around 7:00, NCSO said they got a 911 call from Bennett saying he was going to kill the baby and himself.

Police used GPS to locate Bennett’s car and found it abandoned in front of Riverdale United Methodist Church at the corner of Riverdale Drive and Adams Drive.

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When Riverdale police got to the church, they heard shots behind the building. They found Bennett and the child shot to death.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

Community members and the pastor of the Riverdale church spoke out Sunday evening. Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach said he is looking out for updates on the grandmother that survived being shot in the head.


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