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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Ohio Father Accidentally Shoots Teen Daughter After Mistaking Her for Home Intruder: Tragedy

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On Dec. 29, one family’s nightmare became reality in what appears to have been a horrible accident.

Sometime before 4:30 a.m., 16-year-old Janae Hairston was in the garage of the family home in Columbus, Ohio, for unclear reasons.

Her father apparently thought she was an intruder and shot her before realizing who she was. The heartbreaking 911 call made by the girl’s mother was obtained by NBC News.

“My husband made a mistake and shot her because he thought she was an intruder,” the mom frantically told the dispatcher.

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“She was in our garage and my husband just didn’t know what was going on. Oh my god!”

In the background of the call, the parents are asking why she was in there in the first place, and the dad repeatedly says “Breathe, baby.” According to the mom, it seemed that the girl had been shot in the chest.

Columbus Division of Police released a report about the incident on Dec. 29.

“On Wednesday, 29 December, 2021, at 4:28AM, Columbus Police Officers were called to the 5400 block of Piper Bend Dr. on a report of a shooting,” the report reads.

“On arrival, officers found 16-year-old Janae Hairston suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Violet Township Medic 591 transported Hairston to Mount Carmel East Hospital in critical condition, where she was pronounced deceased at 5:42AM.

“No charges have been filed, this case will be forwarded to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office for review.

“Anyone with information regarding this incident, is asked to call Columbus Police Homicide Unit at (614) 645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-TIPS (8477). This is the 202nd homicide in Columbus Ohio in Calendar Year 2021. Incident #210979606. Detective Egelhoff is the lead detective on the case and is being assisted by Detective Lemmon.”

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The teen was a junior in high school and went to a school in The Canal Winchester School District. The district released a statement regarding the tragedy.

“CW Families, It is with great sadness we inform our school community, Janae Hairston, a junior at the high school has passed away,” the statement reads, according to WSYX-TV.

“We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and our thoughts, prayers, and support are with them. We are saddened by this tragic loss and will make every effort to help students and families cope. We will have counselors available when we return from winter break for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding this loss. We can also provide resources for parents should you need them. If you need immediate assistance, Ohio Health has free grief support. Most grief programs and services are offered at OhioHealth Hospice’s Kobacker House and at various community locations.”

Deputy Chief Tim Becker, a father himself, expressed his sorrow over the incident.

“These kids have such a bright future in front of them,” he said. “To have that prematurely taken away is extra tragic.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking