A Florida man was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing his 18-month-old niece while showing a gun to friends while high on marijuana, prompting a sheriff to label the suspect a “punk gangster.”
CJ Nelson Jr, 22, was charged Wednesday with felony murder with a firearm in the death of Ja’liyah Allen.
Officers rushed to a home on Ranwood Lane in Bunnell before midnight on Sept. 2 after receiving a 911 call about a shooting and found the boy suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.
The girl was taken to a hospital, where she died.
A two-month investigation determined that Ja’liyah’s mother was playing with the boy in the hallway before bath time when the shot was fired outside, according to Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly.
“[The bullet] It went through a bedroom wall and hit little Ja’liyah in the head,” Staly said at a news conference Thursday announcing Nelson’s arrest that aired on First Coast News.
CJ Nelson Jr, 22, was charged Wednesday with felony murder with a firearm in the Sept. 2 killing of his infant niece. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office
The sheriff added that Nelson was high on marijuana while displaying a multi-caliber American tactical assault pistol.
The firearm is believed to have discharged when the 22-year-old allegedly attempted to unlock or otherwise manipulate it, said Flagler County Sheriff’s Detective Kathryn Gordon, the lead investigator on the case.
According to Staly, Nelson’s DNA and fingerprints were found on the gun, but he denied being in the house the night of the tragedy.
Eighteen-month-old Ja’liyah Allen was shot in the head while playing with her mother. News 4 Jax
The sheriff also shared a photo of Nelson brandishing the big gun on social media, “while trying to be, frankly, a punk gangster,” Staly said.
The sheriff also complained that the eight adults who were present in the home at the time of the shooting “gave conflicting statements that were inconsistent with the evidence” and that at least one of them may have attempted to destroy the evidence while paramedics were working. . about the dying child.
“They were more interested in saving his ass than saving the life of a small, innocent child or holding a murderer accountable for his actions,” Staly stated.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly posted a photo on social media of Nelson holding the assault pistol used in the shooting, labeling him a “punk gangster.” First Coast News
Officers said in a report that they found traces of blood on the floor throughout the home and the assault pistol hidden in a closet along with drugs.
Ja’Mari Allen, the 19-year-old father of baby Ja’Liya, previously told station News4Jax that he wanted justice for his daughter.
She said her “sweet baby” was “wonderful and loved to greet everyone.”
One of the 8 adults who were at the Ranwood Lane home in Bunnell, Florida, allegedly attempted to destroy evidence after the shooting. WJXT4
Nelson has been in prison since Sept. 4, when he was named a “person of interest” in the shooting of his niece and initially arrested on an unrelated parole violation. He was denied bail.
Nelson has a criminal history, including weapons and marijuana possession charges stemming from an arrest in November 2022.