January 26, 2022

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16-year-old girl, mistaken for intruder, fatally shot by father at home in Ohio – USA TODAY

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — A 16-year-old girl whom police said was mistaken for an intruder early Wednesday morning was fatally shot by her father.

Police said they received a call around 4:30 a.m. saying that someone inside the home had shot at what he believed to be someone breaking in after the house’s security system was activated.

The 911 call, obtained by The Dispatch, was made by the mother of 16-year-old Janae Hairston, who said the teen had been shot in the garage by her father, who believed she was an intruder. 

The scene of a fatal shooting on the city's Southeast Side.

Hairston’s father can be heard on the call, which lasts more than eight minutes, distraught and asking what his daughter was doing. Both parents are heard begging for the girl to wake up and asking when police will arrive. Officers arrived on the scene about five minutes after the call was placed.

Janae Hairston was taken to Mount Carmel East Hospital, where she died about an hour later. 

Hairston’s social media profile reflects that of a typical teenaged girl, with numerous selfies and other photographs showing her smiling. Several posts show her discussing getting a job and trying to decide whether she should stay close to home or go further away for college.

Hairston was a junior at Canal Winchester High School, the district confirmed Wednesday. The district, in a note to families, said counselors would be made available when students return from winter break and provided links to resources that are more-readily accessible for students and their parents as they deal with the loss. 

Detectives are continuing to investigate Hairston’s death, the seventh homicide to be reported in Columbus within a week and the third in three days. The case will be forwarded to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office for review.

Dispatch reporters Eric Lagatta and Michael Lee contributed to this report.

Follow Bethany Bruner on Twitter: @bethany_bruner.

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