Family of child found shot, killed in Pensacola remembers her as smart, ‘goofy’

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Family has identified the 7-year-old girl found shot and killed in Pensacola Saturday morning as Aniyah Nettles.

Aniyah’s grandmother, Katina Nettles, told WKRG News 5 Aniyah was a student at O.J. Semmes Elementary and had just celebrated her 7th birthday in July.

Pensacola Police continue to investigate her shooting death but have said Aniyah was shot by another child.

Nettles said it was around 7 a.m. when she heard another granddaughter come down her hallway in her home on B Street. Her granddaughter said, “Oh, I’m about to tell my grandmama you just shot ‘Fat Fat’,” a family nickname for Aniyah.

“I jumped straight up because it was 7 o’clock in the morning,” Nettles said. “I ran outside, and she was just laying on the porch.”

Nettles said it’s an image she won’t be able to get out her head.

“I was talking to ‘Niyah,” Nettles said. “I said, ‘you got this. You too strong.’ I shook her leg — trying to get her to get up.”

She didn’t.

Nettles said a neighbor saw children playing with a gun on the front porch and before he could get across the street, it was too late.

Nettles said she believes a known family member, who was detained by police Saturday after running away from the scene, dropped the gun, allowing it to get into the hands of the children.

“Put (guns) up. Quit carrying them,” Nettles said. “Guns kill. People kill. It’s just sad.”

Nettles said she’ll miss Aniyah’s smile, her “goofiness” and intelligence. Aniyah was an A student.

“(Aniyah) is supposed to be going to college,” Nettle said, with tears coming down her face. “This isn’t what’s supposed to be happening to you because you were too smart, and I constantly ask myself what I could do to save my grandbaby.”

Pensacola Police will send information to the State Attorney’s Office this week for review to see if any charges are in order.

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