Columbus authorities continue investigation on fatal shooting of 3-year-old girl

Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 8:41 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 8:51 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - An investigation is underway in southeast Columbus following a fatal shooting.

The Columbus Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit was called to an address on Toney Drive on Sunday evening in reference to gunshots being fired.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan confirms the victim was 3-year-old Jhalani Malayah Blow.

However, investigators aren’t sure yet what happened leading up to her death.

The small apartment dwelling on Toney Drive was lit up with blue lights as investigators worked to find out what happened.

It’s a scene Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan says we shouldn’t see.

“I’m thinking that the 3-year-old was an accidental shooting,” said Bryan. “I don’t think anybody purposely would have shot a 3-year-old.”

While it’s unclear what happened, Bryan says there are several stories that have been told as to what happened. He says cases like this mount over time.

“Over the last five years, we’ve had 36 children under the age of 17 that have died by gun violence. Of those 36, 4 were accidental deaths,” said Bryan.

And to prevent accidental deaths, a local man has created a patent that he believes will save lives with very detailed technology.

“Basically what it does, is when you activate the weapon with a safety switch, you put your finger print on the finger reader, preventing the gun from firing,” said Charles Miller, chairman of Safe Gun Technologies.

Miller says this technology will help prevent violent deaths, and not only works for pistols but also for automatic weapons.

“One of the reasons among many that we came up with these inventions and during some difficult times, I might add, is because of children,” said Miller.

Miller, like Bryan, both say they hope the shooting and deaths of young children stop in order for the community to heal.

“Children shouldn’t be exposed to it, they shouldn’t be exposed to guns in the drawer, guns on the coffee table, even when they are out playing they shouldn’t be exposed to gunfire.”

To be clear, Columbus authorities are still investigating what led to the shooting death of Jhalani.