In a tragic incident over the Labor Day weekend, an 18-month-old girl was shot and killed in Palm Coast, Florida. The shooting occurred at a home on Ranwood Lane and was reported to the police at 11:45 p.m. local time on Saturday, Sept. 3. Upon receiving a frantic call, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office dispatched deputies to the scene. They arrived to find the toddler with a gunshot wound to the head.
Despite their efforts to save her, the child was declared dead upon arrival at AdventHealth Palm Coast, a local hospital. Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly addressed the media during a news conference on Monday, expressing his condolences and providing details on the investigation.
According to Sheriff Staly, there were eight people present in the home at the time of the shooting, including the child's mother. However, the father was not present. All individuals in the house are currently being investigated, although they have not been fully cooperative with authorities.
One person, identified as C.J. Nelson Jr., has been arrested for a probation violation. Nelson, 22, had previously been arrested for a gun-related offense and was not permitted to possess firearms due to the conditions of his probation. Sheriff Staly emphasized that Nelson has not been charged with the child's death yet, but he is considered a primary person of interest in the investigation.
During the news conference, Sheriff Staly revealed that the weapon used in the shooting was an American tactical multi-caliber assault pistol. Additionally, drugs were discovered inside the home during the investigation. Authorities found 420 grams of marijuana and 11 grams of white powder suspected to be cocaine or heroin.
It was also revealed that the police had visited the house twice this year. One visit was in response to a report of a stolen vehicle, while the other was related to a 911 investigation. These incidents further complicate the ongoing investigation into the tragic death of the innocent toddler.
The sheriff's office initially stated in a press release that the child's death may have been accidental. However, Sheriff Staly did not confirm if this belief still stands, and he expressed that further information would be available after the medical examiner completed their investigation.
Sheriff Staly expressed frustration with the lack of cooperation from all individuals present in the house during the shooting. He emphasized his commitment to holding someone accountable for the death of the 18-month-old child, stating, "This was a life cut too short. We know God now has an angel.".
themes: Shooting Florida