Atlanta, GA - Jessica Arrendale’s story persists in headlines across the nation. And now those inspired by the young mother’s story can help provide for her daughters.
A website, created by Arrendale’s friend Leslie Tidwell Jordan, reports around 880 people have already donated over $39,000. WSB’s Pete Combs says the amount of money raised so far is “four times what family and friends expected.”
So many were touched upon hearing the way the mother of two heroically defended her 6-month-old daughter’s life—even after receiving a fatal shot to the head from her boyfriend, Antoine Davis.
Arrendale’s mother, Teresa Ionniello, spoke with WSB in the days after her daughter’s death.
“She had pure will,” Ionniello said. “She wanted that baby to live.”
Following an explosive fight between Arrendale and her boyfriend, early on the morning of Sept. 14, the young mother ran upstairs to grab her daughter, Cobie, and a bat for defense.
Davis, who had abused Arrendale in the past, overpowered her and repeatedly struck her with the bat.
Arrendale ran into the couple’s bathroom with her daughter and locked the door. Davis then retrieved his assault rifle outfitted with a suppressor, broke into the bathroom, and fatally shot the young mother in the head—while she was holding Cobie in her arms.
Instead of falling onto the floor, Ionniello said, “She was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction.” Arrendale fell over the toilet, dropping her daughter into the water-filled bowl.
Davis shot himself before authorities ultimately arrived on the scene to find little Cobie still alive, and underneath Arrendale, in the toilet.
Cobie was treated at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. She is now home with her grandmother and 15-year-old half-sister.
More than 250 people attended Arrendale’s funeral and WSB’s Pete Combs says the church was “filled beyond capacity.”
Arrendale’s 15-year-old daughter from a previous relationship spoke during the service. Through tears, she said, “Mommy I miss you and I’ll do everything I can to make you proud of me.”
To donate and aid in the education of Arrendale’s daughters, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/ej9y24