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Hero mom 'used her last breath' to save baby daughter by hiding her in the toilet as marine father opened fire shooting her dead

Written by Pete Combs for WSBRadio

She was young, beautiful and tragically killed by her daughter’s father early Sunday morning. Now, Jessica Arrendale, 33, is being hailed by her family as a hero for saving her six-month old daughter’s life, even as she died from a bullet to the head.

Jessica’s mother, Teresa Inniello, spoke exclusively with WSB’s Pete Combs Wednesday night, telling him the sad details of her daughter’s death and the miraculous survival of her granddaughter, Colbie.

It began Saturday night when Jessica and Colbie’s father, 30-year old Antoine Davis, went out for the evening. At some point, Ionniello said, Davis, a former Marine who served in Iraq, became belligerently drunk and abusive. It had happened many times, Ionniello said, but her daughter did not seem able to turn Davis away no matter how often he abused her.

Antoine Davis

Davis chased Arrendale up the stairs of her three-story townhome in the Oakdale Bluffs subdivision sometime around midnight, she said.

Arrendale tried to defend herself with a baseball bat, but she was overpowered by the former serviceman, who struck her several times with the bat, Ionniello said.

Arrendale had the six-month old child in her arms. Little Colbie may have been hit in the head by the baseball bat, according to her grandmother. The child has a traumatic head injury.

Arrendale locked herself in a bathroom. Davis got his gun, an assault rifle outfitted with a suppressor. He burst into the bathroom and, while Arrendale was still holding Colbie in her arms, shot the young mother in the head, Ionniello said.

“He shot her and they (police) don’t know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction,” Ionniello said. Instead of falling onto the floor, Ionniello said her daughter fell over the toilet, dropping little Colbie into the water-filled bowl.

“She had pure will,” Ionniello said. “She wanted that baby to live.”

Colbie’s grandmother believes Davis intended to kill both mother and child, but unable to see the child inside the toilet bowl, covered by Arrendale’s body, he left the bathroom, walked into the baby’s room and shot himself.

“She was the hero,” Ionniello said, “because her last breath was saving the child.”

Smyrna police, unable to contact anyone inside the townhouse, were reluctant to rush the house, concerned their actions might spark violence. They did not know Arrendale and Davis were already dead. They sent in a robot, but the machine could not negotiate the stairs in the three-story building, Ionniello said.

The baby remained in the toilet, covered by her mother’s body, for 13-hours before officers finally stormed the townhouse and rescued her. She was cradled in the arms of an officer who rushed her outside to a waiting ambulance.

Colbie is still being treated at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. Ionniello hopes to bring her home soon, where she already cares for Jessica’s 15-year old daughter.

Friends have set up a fund to help offset the expense of Jessica’s funeral and to aid in the education of her two children. Already, the fund has raised almost $8,000.

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Comment by mr1stroke on September 26, 2014 at 12:36pm

what can he possibly found out? that she f**** someone else, well news flash all those men who goes away whether its prison or military need to understand many of those women will wait but they will not be faithful, they only human and have needs, so if she f**** someone else either you walk away or understand work it out and keep the b****, many of those women who may be dealing with other people while their husbands are away cannot just drop that other person especially if that other person been there for them, me my self i rather have a friendship with a woman if im not around otherwise the hell with commitment, every one can tell when something is not fair

Comment by Eric Stewart on September 26, 2014 at 10:49am

very sad story once it shows how idiots still abuse women he should be beheaded ASAP.

Comment by K. LeBlanc on September 26, 2014 at 10:41am

@James Gibbs, I doubt this has anything to do with the media "making white people the hero"...divine intervention protected that child. If she were a black mother, I'm sure the headlines would read the same. The part that is missing is the fact that he was a serviceman who SNAPPED, like most of them do....I'm sure we all have a story that hits close to home of a loved one in the military. The governments needs to do something about these war machines that they create, mess up and then let back in to society.

Comment by K. LeBlanc on September 26, 2014 at 10:38am

This is so tragic, hope the baby is ok. @IamaDama "he found out something" ??? did you miss the part that said  "former marine" who "Served in Iraq". I think that's definitely enough

Comment by lamadama on September 25, 2014 at 8:14pm
He found out something.
Comment by mr1stroke on September 25, 2014 at 3:18pm

as sad as it may be, this is what i always say, when you stay with an abuser this is how it ends up, if you people start loving your self and stop believing in that fairy tail bullshit love you can have a better life, that s*** do not exist anymore just like you see many things in this life are coming to an end love is one of them, it is there for a period of time or the moment, ask your self to all those who believe in that love s*** how many times have you been in love, if it is love how many people you had to love i thought it was suppose to be forever, in that case you should of love one person and thats that, if someone tell me she loves me i will ask her that same question, if she says she has been in love before than it is not important, im not thats special what makes this love different, women can follow the same procedure, in fact how many people you know who are in love how long have they been in love, my heart goes out to her family, but she is in a better place without pain the only thing the baby will have to know about this story, and may never be the same

Comment by Dark Angel on September 25, 2014 at 1:30pm
The government needs to help these service men..Some of them needs help. They returned mentally deranged they have psychological problems.
Comment by wayne Bacchus on September 25, 2014 at 3:31am
We have to careful of mentally ill people s she is beautiful and baby is beautiful
Comment by lynz on September 22, 2014 at 12:40pm
So sad..what a beautiful family he had. It shouldn't matter what color this mother is, she is a hero for protecting her child in such a frightening situation. How many ppl can think of others when confronted with danger...? I know a man who used his newborn for his shield against bullets. Selfish coward. My ex coworker witnessed his brother-in-law kill his sister then himself. Poor boy now a man is psychologically messed up, fragile and broken. He will take any drug to drown out his pain. Heart breaking!
God if it's your will, please heal this precious little girl. R.I.P. Jessica!
Comment by Cee Gee on September 22, 2014 at 9:39am

This bought tears to my eyes....SMH....sad

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