10-year-old girl shot and killed in Ware County, Ga.

Investigation indicates the accidental discharge of a firearm


WAYCROSS, Ga. – A 10-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed by a family member in their Waycross home on Friday, according to the Ware County Sheriff's Office.

About 1 p.m., the Ware County 911 Center received a call about a shooting incident in the 4900 block of Jana Lane in Ware County.

Deputies and EMS dispatched to the home found Taylor Marie Jowers lying on the floor of the living room, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

Deputies immediately rendered first aid until Ware County EMS arrived. Life Flight was requested, but she died moments later after the request was made.

Ware County detectives arrived at the scene and began their investigation, according to Sheriff Randy Royal.

The investigation has revealed the 10-year-old victim and a juvenile relative were in the living room when the girl asked to hold a 12-gauge shotgun located in the home. 

Royal said the boy attempted to ensure the weapon was unloaded, and during that process accidentally discharged the weapon, striking the girl. The boy then ran to the next door neighbor's home, where the 911 call was made.

"He just said that his sister was shot. Then we called the ambulance really fast. I called the ambulance and all the responders and everything got out here as fast as they could and tried to help her as much as they could," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

Investigators say victim and the older boy were alone in the residence while the parents were at work.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah. The investigation is ongoing, but the shooting has all indications of an accidental discharge of a firearm, according to Royal.

"This is a tragedy," said Royal.  "We wish to express our condolences to the family in their time of need."