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13-year-old girl killed in Albany shooting

ALBANY, Ga. -- A mentally impaired 15-year-old boy shot his 13-year-old sister dead with an improperly secured rifle at about 7 p.m. Tuesday in south Albany.

Lejuawlard Lunsford died of a wound to the neck from the 7mm-caliber rifle her brother wielded, said Greg Blackmon, a District Attorney's Office investigator.

"I will meet with the head investigator from (the Albany Police Department) on Monday to go over the case," Blackmon said. "At this time we are calling it an accident."

The girl was shot while in her home at 2501 S. Jackson St., Blackmon said.

"She was taken to Phoebe (Putney Memorial Hospital)," Blackmon said. "She was pronounced dead at Phoebe."

Blackmon said that he believed the 911 call came from the girl's mother after one of the three other teenagers in the house, whose ages range from 13 to 15, called her at work. The teenagers -- the victim's brother and two female cousins -- probably panicked after the gunshot and didn't know what to do, he said.

Members of various Albany Police Department units such as the Gang Task Force also responded to the shooting. The extra officers were needed for crowd control in the neighborhood.

Neighbors crowded the street corners near the yellow crime tape that stretched across the intersection of South Jackson Street and Barton Avenue. No bystanders said they knew the family at the single-story brick home well.

"They are a nice family," said Marilyn Jones, a 30-year neighborhood resident. "We see the kids out in the yard playing all the time."