Father charged in accidental shooting death of 11-year-old daughter

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

A Tennessee man has been charged in connection with the shooting death of his 11-year-old daughter.

29-year-old Timothy Batts took his daughter, Timea, to the hospital saying that she had been shot.  She was airlifted to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where she died only an hour later.

Although Batts told Hendersonville Police that the shooting happened after she got off the bus from her first day of school, he later returned to the police department to change his story.

–2-Year-old tells mom: ‘I hurt my dad’ after fatally shooting father

Investigators say Batts admitted he accidentally shot his daughter after being woken up to noise in the house. He reportedly grabbed a firearm from underneath a dresser and fired a shot when the sound scared him.

Batts has since been charged with reckless homicide, tampering with evidence, false reporting and felon in possession of a firearm.

The family has emphasized that they believe the shooting was an accident.

“He was a good dad regardless of what the situation was,” Gwendolyn Childress, one of Timea’s cousins told The Tennessean.  “She meant something to a whole lot of us,” said Childress.

–Cleveland father arrested for allegedly shooting at home, killing son

Adam French, a local pastor, said at a vigil that Batts moved the family to Hendersonville to create a better life for his children than he had himself.

“This is not a story of a man who turned violent,” French told The Tennessean. “It’s a story about a man who grew up in a certain environment and had to deal with the consequences.”

Batts is a convicted felon and has faced prior arrests on gun and drug charges.  He remains in jail on $1 million dollars bond.

–Teen who murdered his mother and ex-NFL player father, Antonio Armstrong , allegedly tried to cover up crime