UPDATE 10:17 a.m.: NCSO confirms Riverdale PD heard shots behind church

A reliable source tells The Clayton Crescent that a baby who was kidnapped from Covington was shot dead in Riverdale this morning, with the father then turning the gun on himself, and that the child’s mother also was shot dead in Newton County. The child’s grandmother also was wounded and taken to a hospital. The baby was the subject of an Amber Alert.

Jaquari Bennett, 1

Police say Darian Javaris Bennett, 38, kidnapped 1-year-old Jaquari Bennett around 11 p.m. Saturday night in Covington. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued an Amber Alert, saying Bennett had taken the child and was driving a black 2007 Honda Accord with license plate RGJ4146.

Fox 5 News reported the grandmother told law enforcement that Bennett had taken the child.

Darian Javaris Bennett, 38

According to the source, the suspect’s plate resulted in a “hit” in Forest Park, and “Forest Park Police engaged” with the suspect.

Around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, according to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, Bennett called Clayton County 911, saying that he was in a wooded area behind a church off Riverdale Road and threatening to kill himself and the baby.

According to Newton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Jack Redlinger, Riverdale Police “heard shots from behind the church and then located both deceased. No engagement.”

We have asked Clayton County Police for more details. Clayton County 911 dispatches for other agencies in the county besides CCPD.

Riverdale Police Chief Todd Spivey told The Clayton Crescent, “We are investigating the death of one male and one infant currently. Incident believed to be related to Amber Alert out of Newton County. Investigation ongoing.” Spivey referred The Clayton Crescent to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office for more information.

Attempts to reach the Newton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman were not successful as of press time. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the deaths of Bennett and the baby but is not handling the investigation.

CBS46 reports that the child’s grandmother was hospitalized and that two other children were in the home at the time of the kidnapping:

Fox 5 Atlanta reported the Newton County Sheriff’s Office said Bennett had called law enforcement, letting them know he was at a church on Riverdale Road and Adams Drive, and that he was planning to kill himself and the baby.

Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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  1. Damn… this hurts. I lost my only child to a traffic accident last year and, I’m still crying over that. This is sad, painful, and so senseless. My God…