Jessica Arrendale is a hero.
Her heroic act came a week ago when she saved the life of her six-month-old daughter from the deadly wrath of her boyfriend. The woman lost her own life after being shot in the head, but not before the beautiful mother of two ensured the safety of her child in her final moments.
Since then, people from across the nation have helped to raise more than $40,000 for the two children Arrendale left behind on a GoFundMe site set up by a friend.
Arrendale's friend posted the following on the fundraising website:
"An amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend was taken way too soon. Jessica was one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. This fund has been set-up for the two children that she has left behind. Jessica was the sole provider for her household. As a friend, I feel obligated to do all things possible to make sure the children's life remain in the state it was prior to the events that occured. There was no doubt of Jessica's beauty, but when you truly knew her is when you saw the real beauty."
The 37-year-old mother was killed Sept. 20 in her Smyrna, Georgia townhouse, allegedly shot in the head by Antoine Davis, 30, a former Marine who served in Iraq.
— POPSUGAR Moms (@POPSUGARMoms) September 22, 2014
The slain woman's mother, Teresa Ianniello, told WSB News that Davis was the father of her daughter's two children and that he had a history of abusing her daughter. According to Ianniello, the couple had returned from an evening out when Davis became drunk and abusive and chased Arrendale up the stairs of her townhome.
Arrendale allegedly tried to lock herself and her daughter in a bathroom, but Davis broke down the door and shot Arrendale in the head with an assault rifle.
“He shot her and they (police) don't know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction,” Ianniello told WSB Radio.
Ianniello said her daughter fell over the toilet, shielding daughter Cobie in the toilet bowl.
“She had pure will,” the victim's mother said. “She wanted that baby to live.”
The baby was found alive by police 13 hours later. However, the little one suffered from a severe head injury and hypothermia. Police speculate the head trauma may have resulted from the blow of a baseball bat.
“She was the hero,” Ionniello said, “because her last breath was saving the child.”
Davis was found dead in the baby's bedroom, where he apparently shot himself, according to WSB.