Jackson arrested in shooting death of 11-year-old niece

Barbara Layton
Andrew Jackson

According to a complaint filed with the Jackson County Magistrate Court on June 26, Andrew Jackson, 36, of Fisher Mobile Home Park in Cottageville, was cleaning a gun when it discharged, striking himself in the hand and also striking his 11-year-old niece in the chest.

The complaint states Jackson began providing aid to his niece and advised his brother, the girl’s father, who had been in the backroom of the mobile home at the time of the incident, to call 911.

“By the time our deputies had arrived on the scene she was beginning to lose consciousness,” Jackson County Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger said.

The victim was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center via Air Evac where she later succumbed to her injuries.

In further investigation, Jackson advised the deputies that he was a convicted felon and was not legally able to own or possess a firearm. According to the criminal complaint, Jackson told the officers that the firearm belonged to his mother and that he regularly cleaned it for her due to loss of strength in her hands.

A further check into records confirmed Jackson was convicted of a drug felony in 2009.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Department deputy Seth Fisher and Jackson County Bureau of Investigations Detective Captain Bobby Knox met up with the victim’s grandmother, Jerri Jackson. The complaint indicates, Jerri said she had not been home at the time of the incident; however, she said Andrew had been told numerous times by several people in the home that he should not be messing with a gun around the children.

Jerri then told deputy Fisher that approximately one month prior to the incident, she and Andrew were inside the home when he accidentally discharged the same firearm as the one on June 26. The complaint states she further advised officers that it was discharged so close to her head that she received powder burns on her face.

According to the criminal complaint, two 12-year-old boys, including the girl’s brother, were also in the home at the time of the incident.

Upon executing a search warrant to obtain further evidence, Mellinger went inside the home.

“Right over the couch area where the incident occurred there is a big poster from her fifth-grade year in school, she has a photograph of herself and she is listing her goals and ambitions. Her goal and ambition on this poster board is that she wanted to make it through middle school,” said Mellinger. “It’s a sad situation. Her ambition was to make it through middle school and because of this carelessness and recklessness, quite honestly just pure foolishness, this girl won’t make it through middle school.”

Jackson is charged with child neglect resulting in death, two counts of child neglect creating the risk of injury, and a count of a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. His bond is set at $150,000.