Sunday, September 21, 2014
A white mother saved her six-month-old mixed-race baby with her last breath, sheltering the infant in the toilet after her black boyfriend shot her in the head and turned the gun on himself
Jessica Arrendale, 33, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head along with Antoine Davis, 30, who police believe shot himself and Arrendale in a murder-suicide in an Atlanta suburb. Police had surrounded Arrendale's townhouse. When they finally entered the home, they found the baby safe inside and rushed her to the hospital to treat her for hypothermia. Arrendale's mother, Teresa Ionniello, said that Arrendale and Davis were together the night that Davis became belligerently drunk and abusive, an episode that sadly had happened many times before in their relationship. Davis chased Arrendale up to the third floor of her home, where Arrendale picked up a baseball bat to defend herself, according to Ionniello, though Davis overpowered her and struck her with the bat. Arrendale then barricaded herself in the bathroom with their six-month-old, Cobie. Davis went to get his firearm, an assault rifle, from the closet, and it was around this time that police arrived at the home. Police evacuated nearby homes as a precaution and attempted to make contact with the armed man inside. When officers made the decision to breach the doors around 1:30 p.m., they found the bodies of Arrendale and Davis, both killed by gunshot wounds to the head, Davis's self-inflicted. Cobie was found in the toilet bowl, covered by her mother's body but safe and alive. Davis's two daughters from a previous marriage, ages 9 and 10, were in the home. Their mother, Tamaira Chesley, described how one daughter later told her that Davis stared at her for a very long time before she asked him, "Daddy, what are you doing?" Chesley says Davis then went upstairs with a gun and the daughter heard Arrendale screaming and then a boom.