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Help sought in solving Aug. 14 shooting death of Lehigh Acres teen

An 18-year-old was shot and killed Aug. 14 in a Lehigh Acres home, and authorities are hoping the public can help find the person who did it.

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers said Friday that Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives responded in the early morning hours to a shooting at a home on 56th Street West. They found CJ Wallace dead and no suspect or suspects have been found.

“He was a good person,” said Harold Price, Wallace’s great-uncle and legal guardian. “He made really bad choices, bad decisions.”

By the time Wallace was 5 years old, he and his sister went to live with their great-uncle in Lehigh Acres.

“We were the only ones that basically would take them in, and so we had them with us,” Price said.

Price told us he tried to point his nephew in the right direction and says things went well until the end of Wallace’s junior year of high school.

“Once he started using drugs, everything went right out the window,” Price said. “And there was no reasoning with him.”

But Price said Wallace didn’t deserve to die — to be gunned down and left for dead. He’s angry and sad at the same time because he can’t get their last conversations out of his mind. He thought CJ was getting his life back on track.

“They took a young man; CJ was not perfect by any means, but he was still a good person at heart and he had the potential of a future,” Price said. “And somebody took it away from him.”

For Price, he must now, not only handle his nephew’s death, but also come to grips CJ never realized his great potential.

“It was hard,” Price said. “Like I said, it was a shock, and yet we feared it was like your worst fear is coming true.”

Price wants the community’s help to identify CJ Wallace’s killer, so whoever is responsible can be arrested, tried and convicted.

“And that they never again have a chance to do this to anybody else,” Price said.

Crime Stoppers said in the two weeks since Wallace’s death, detectives have followed leads but nothing has developed. They believe the suspect knew Wallace and may be familiar with the neighborhood. The street the home is on is a dead-end street, they said, so the suspect didn’t just randomly drive through the area.

Investigators believe the deadly shooter likely knew Wallace personally. A description of the vehicle driven by the suspect isn’t known, Crime Stoppers said.

Anyone with information on the death of CJ Wallace is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477). All callers will remain anonymous and will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000. Tips may also be made online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com or on the P3Tips mobile app.

Reporter:Gail Levy
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