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11-month-old girl in critical condition after father shoots her, takes own life in south Forsyth home
SWAT offers in yards
SWAT officers move through a neighboring yard. - photo by Jim Dean

An 11-month-old girl is in critical condition at an Atlanta hospital after her father shot her before taking his life in their south Forsyth home Monday afternoon, officials said Tuesday morning.

The baby was transported by ambulance to Northside Hospital-Forsyth shortly before 7 p.m. on Aug. 7 after being held inside a Vistas at Castleberry subdivision residence by her father, who refused to come outside after deputies responded to reports of a domestic incident at 3:39 p.m., according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

Hostage negotiators work
A pair of hostage negotiators could also be seen, phones in hand, as the crisis unfolded. - photo by Jim Dean
“After communications failed to reach [the] man inside the house, our deputies entered the house to place a phone for this man to call us on,” he said. “At this moment, our deputies could hear a baby upstairs in the house. The deputies, along with our SWAT team medic, performed medical treatment to the baby. The baby was rushed to a hospital by ambulance with a police escort.

“The father was found unresponsive with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound [and] is deceased.”

The child was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital Monday night, where she remained as of Tuesday with her mother, Rainwater said.

Forsyth County deputies, negotiators and two SWAT units had surrounded the home on the 6000 block of Carleen Court hours earlier when they responded to a 911 call from the baby’s mother, who said her husband had taken her cellphone and threatened her with a gun following an argument, Rainwater said.

The wife ran across the street to a neighbor’s house to call 911.

“Once we got here, we initially made contact with the husband inside and he talked to a deputy,” Rainwater said. “We thought at that time he was coming out but he didn’t, so other deputies came to try to talk him out through PA systems and other [methods] – the whole nine yards.

“Because of the child inside of the residence, we activated the SWAT team, negotiation team and from there, they had been trying ever since.”

Deputies made entry into the home after obtaining a search warrant.

The neighborhood was closed to traffic Monday afternoon and evening, resulting in seven Vickery Middle School students’ bus routes being disrupted.

The bus driver who was carrying the students returned to Vickery, and a school resource officer helped coordinate with parents to get them picked up, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for Forsyth County Schools.

The sheriff’s office is not releasing identifying information of those involved until family members are notified, Rainwater said.

Where the infant was shot has not been released.