BRASELTON — The 15-year-old daughter of an Athens U.S. Army recruiter has been charged with murder in the shooting death of her mother after police said the two got into an argument.
Karen Moore, a 42-year-old soldier and recruiter, was found dead in her home Thursday by a neighbor, said Braselton assistant police chief Lou Solis.
Barrow County Fire and Emergency Services responded to the home on Sahale Falls Drive in The Falls of Braselton neighborhood after getting a phone call about 1:15 p.m. Thursday from a neighbor, police said.
The daughter initially told authorities she called the neighbor because her mother wasn't waking up, and police soon found a bullet wound in the back of her head, Solis said.
Moore was sitting on a sofa when she was shot in the back of the head, he said. The Barrow County Coroner's Office confirmed that Moore died of a single gunshot wound.
After the girl's father gave a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent his approval to interview her, Solis said the girl's story changed.
"The girl said she got into the argument about several different things, got upset, grabbed (the gun) out of one of the closets and pulled the trigger," Solis said.
He said the source of the argument is unclear, but the girl is cooperating with the investigation.
The girl's father is also in the Army but stationed in Alabama.
Solis said the father said "I love my daughter," but also said his wife's death means he has lost his best friend.
Braselton Police Chief Terry Esco said the Moore family was friendly, and he recalled them waving to officers patrolling the neighborhood.
Esco grew up in the area and said the case is the first murder in Braselton in 12 years.
Police also interviewed the girl's 17-year-old friend, Christopher Nieves, who was at the scene, and charged him with sex with a minor, Solis said. Investigators do not believe he was involved in the shooting, Solis said. The father said he did not know the boyfriend.
Prosecutors will decide whether to charge the daughter as an adult, he said. She was taken to a juvenile facility in Gwinnett County.
Associated Press contributed to this report.