1-year-old girl shot and killed at Palm Coast home, person of interest in custody: Florida deputies

A 1-year-old girl is dead after being shot in the head at a home in Palm Coast Sunday night, according to the Flagler Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to a home on Ranwood Lane off Randolph Drive around 11:45 p.m. after receiving a frantic 911 call saying a baby had been shot.

When law enforcement arrived, they found the 18-month-old with a gunshot wound to the head. Authorities said the young girl had been shot with an American tactical multiple-caliber assault pistol.

She was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

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A person of interest was identified as 21-year-old CJ Nelson Jr., Sheriff Rick Staly told reporters during a news conference Monday afternoon. He was arrested on violation of probation. He was on probation for a gun-related offense and was not allowed to be in possession of a weapon as a condition of his probation.  

"He has not been charged with this death, yet," Staly said, though he would not elaborate on whether the gun used to shoot the toddler belonged to him. 

Staly said eight people, including the child's mother, were home during the shooting, but none of them have been cooperative with the investigation, he said. 

Detectives are working to learn how the child was shot and whether it was accidental shooting. 

"The child did not touch the firearm. The child is an innocent victim in this case," Staly said. "It would be a lot easier if everyone would tell us the truth and let us know what went on in that house."


The Flagler Sheriff's Office is working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the State Attorney's Office to complete the investigation. 

"We will get to the bottom of this," Staly said.