Authorities in Florida have brought manslaughter charges against a 21-year-old man who allegedly killed his 18-month-old niece while he was high on marijuana and showing off a gun. Per First Coast News, Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly in a news conference last Thursday said C.J. Nelson was “trying to be a punk gangster” when he allegedly killed his niece Ja’liya Allen on September 3.
Staly said officers responded to a home in the wake of the shooting and found many individuals on the premises, adding that Ja’liya had been shot in the head and someone was carrying her. The victim later passed away after she was taken to a hospital.
Staly said that though investigators quickly tried to get details about the suspect who shot the victim, the individuals at the home were not cooperative. “Everyone at that home gave conflicting statements as to what occurred,” the sheriff said.
“The statements frankly did not match the evidence. While deputies and paramedics were responding, we believe others in the home were doing their best to destroy and move evidence. They were more interested in saving their ass than saving the life of a small innocent child or holding a killer accountable for his actions.”
Staly said that prior to the fatal incident, the deceased minor’s mother was “going to take a shower, but it was too hot”, adding that she played with her daughter while she waited for the water temperature to lower, First Coast News reported.
“During this mother-daughter playtime, a shot was fired that went through a bedroom wall and struck little Ja’liyah in the head,” Staly said.
The sheriff also said the gun went off while Nelson was showing it off. He said the suspect was high on marijuana at the time of the fatal incident, and the gun had his DNA and fingerprints on it. Staly also showed a photo of Nelson displaying the gun on social media.