MIAMI (CBSMiami) -A makeshift memorial for a four-year-old Miami girl who police say was shot and killed this past weekend by her uncle continues to grow.
All day Monday, loved ones, family friends, and members of the community continued to stop by to add stuffed animals, notes, and photos to the memorial where Nyla Jones lost her life.
Ronald Willie Jones Jr., 24, is being held without bail in the shooting death of his niece Nyla Jones.
Nyla’s mother Shanae Jones broke down in tears at the memorial site, crying out, “my baby.”
“She was a great child, my baby,” she said. “She didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve to go like this. It was an accident what happened to my baby. It was an accident.”
She said of the uncle, “Please don’t follow him. It was an accident.”
“You need to put your guns down,” she said. “An innocent life was lost.”
“I am going to remember her right here” she said. “She is with me, right here.”
Her aunt, Sharonda Mitchell, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “She meant the world to us. Just like all the children, she meant the world to us. She was an angel.”
“I just think if you have guns of any sort, you should be so careful. Put them down and put them to the side and put them out of the way,” she added.
According to Jones’ arrest warrant, he was arguing was having an argument when he announced, “I am going to shoot.”
Mitchell said she believed Jones fired his weapon by accident.
“He just had it on the side and he pulled it up and he did not mean for it to fire,” she said.
“It was an accident. It was not intentional. He did not mean to do it,” agreed Nyla’s cousin Kamary Bell.
The shooting happened early Saturday morning off NW 65th Street in Liberty City. Nyla was inside a car when Jones got into an argument with one of his sisters – Nyla’s mother. Nyla was struck and was taken to the hospital where she died.
Nyla’s father, Alex Burnes, said he’s a broken man. Burnes said while he wasn’t friends with Jones, they didn’t have any problems.
“We was cool, ya know what I’m saying, he was a cool person, I ain’t never think that of him but I don’t know at this point, I’m not thinking about no friendship right now that was my child,” said Burnes.
Burnes agrees with the other family members that shooting was an accident and Jones didn’t know Nyla was in the car. He added that all he can think about is his baby girl.
“She’d always tell me how much she loved me, she missed me, you know, and she’s the best thing the ever happened to me,” he said.
His Facebook page has pictures of the good times. Images of Nyla smiling, the two of them together, and one where his feet are on the sidewalk standing next to his initials which he said Nyla drew.
His latest post is one of sadness.
“Dear Baby, daddy will always love you forever you’ll always be with me me and I’ll forever be with you ,I miss your calls saying daddy what you doing ,and I’d tell you I miss you and you’ll say it back and I’ll tell you I love you and you’ll say it back ,#miss you# she wrote this before she passed # my initials # I’m so broken # I’m sad as ever # tears won’t stop # sip baby girl”
On Monday night, teachers from local schools walked down to the memorial.
They said this is an unfortunate, teachable moment.
“You can have a disagreement, you can have an argument but to resort to such a permanent fix is unacceptable,” one teacher said. “[Nyla] deserved to possibly become that astronaut, or that teacher or that congress woman. We will never get that opportunity because we have neglected to learn to love each other.”
Jones is facing one count of second-degree murder for Nyla’s death and three counts of attempted murder.