An Atlanta father has been accused of killing his 18-month-old son after the child was apparently shot in the chest by a BB gun, police said.
Jessie L. Sellers, 23, has been charged with felony murder and second-degree child cruelty in connection with the death of Jesstin Sellers. He is being held without bond in the Fulton County jail.
Neighbors planned to hold a candlelight vigil for the child Friday evening in the parking lot of the Boynton Village apartment complex, where the family lives.
Police were called just after 9:15 a.m. Friday to the complex in the 1000 block of Hank Aaron Drive.
Witnesses saw the bleeding child carried to an ambulance, and police say the boy was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Capt. Paul Guerrucci, unit commander of the Atlanta Police Department’s homicide unit, said investigators recovered a BB gun from inside the apartment near Turner Field.
“The caller said her young child had been shot in the chest with what she believed was a BB gun,” Guerrucci said. “We found a child that had sustained some type of injury to the chest.”
Forensic pathologists with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office and the GBI will make the final determination on what caused the child’s death, he said.
“We are speaking with involved parties to try to determine what happened,” Guerrucci said. “We take these types of incidents seriously, and all resources are being used.”
Willie Dickerson, an uncle of the toddler, said he thought the incident was an accident.
Police say three adults and three children were inside the apartment, and the state Division of Family and Children Services is now involved in the investigation.
Guerrucci warned that “it’s never safe to have weapons around children.”