Father of girl killed in accidental shooting arrested

By Crystal Moyer, Morning assignment desk, backup traffic reporter, cmoyer@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 07 2014 07:02:57 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 12:29:26 PM EDT

Joshua Scott Jowers

WAYCROSS, Ga. -

Two days after a 10-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed by an older relative, the victim's father was arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the Ware County Sheriff's Office.

About 1 p.m., the Ware County 911 Center received a call about a shooting incident at a home on Jana Lane in Ware County.  Arriving deputies found Taylor Marie Jowers lying on the floor of the living room, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.

Deputies rendered first aid until Ware County EMS arrived.  Life Flight was requested, but Jowers died moments after the request was made.

Ware County detectives learned the 10-year-old victim and an older male relative were in the living room when the girl asked to hold a 12-gauge shotgun located in the home. 

Sheriff Randy Royal said the boy attempted to ensure the weapon was unloaded, and during that process accidentally discharged the weapon, striking the Jowers. The boy then ran to the next-door neighbor’s home, where the 911 call was made.

"He just said that his sister was shot. Then we called the ambulance really fast. I called the ambulance and all the responders and everything got out here as fast as they could and tried to help her as much as they could," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

Investigators say victim and the older boy were alone in the residence while the parents were at work.

In addition to the shotgun in the home, several other firearms were also found and seized by detectives, according to Royal.

On Sunday night the victim's father, Joshua Scott Jowers, 33, was arrested on a charge of possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

Jowers was booked into the the Ware County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing, but the shooting has all indications of an accidental discharge of a firearm, according to Royal.

"This is a tragedy," said Royal.  "We wish to express our condolences to the family in their time of need."

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah.

Royal said the detectives findings will be sent to District Attorney Brad Collins of the Waycross Judicial Circuit.

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