The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Boyfriend accidentally shot girlfriend and tried to make it look like she shot herself, police say

Placeholder while article actions load

Prince George’s County police said Friday they think a 19-year-old man accidentally shot and killed his girlfriend in a home last month, then put the gun in her hand to hide his involvement.

Jamal Speaks, of Palmer Park, has been charged with murder and weapons charges in the killing of Saniyah Floyd, 18, of Capitol Heights, police said.

The charges stem from April 7, when officers were called to a home in the 13000 block of Buchanan Drive in Fort Washington at about 10:30 p.m. after a report of a shooting and found Floyd in a bedroom with a single gunshot wound, police said.

Authorities pronounced her dead at the scene.

Initially, detectives were told by witnesses that Floyd accidentally shot herself, but a medical examiner determined her injuries could not have been self-inflicted, police said.

Police later learned that Speaks had illegally purchased a gun and had been playing with it throughout that day. That night, police said, he fired it one time and the bullet hit Floyd. He then “placed the gun in the victim’s hand to make it appear as if she had shot herself,” police said in a statement.

“There’s been no evidence discovered at this time that Speaks intended to kill her,” said Christina Cotterman, a spokeswoman for Prince George’s County police.

Speaks has admitted his involvement in the shooting, police said.

The Washington Post and several other media outlets wrote about Speaks last year, when he was fighting to play for Ballou High School’s football team in the District but was denied because he was homeless. He later was allowed to play for the team.

An obituary for Floyd said she graduated from Central High School in May 2018 and has a twin sister. Floyd loved travel, her family and fashion, the obituary said.

A Prince George’s County court commissioner charged Speaks with first-degree murder, assault and weapons charges, police said.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Speaks. He is being held in jail without bond.

Loading...