A Pennsylvania man is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in the face with an AR-15 assault rifle during an argument Sunday while she held her baby in her arms, say police.
Joshua Wertz, 30, of West Manheim Township, is charged with criminal homicide in the death of Nicole Cash, 26, of McSherrystown, the York Dispatch reports.
Wertz has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf. He is being held in the York County Prison without bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 23.
Cash’s mother, Sandra Green is devastated.
“I just wish this was a bad dream and that I could wake up and see my daughter,” Green told local station FOX43.
The shooting took place after Wertz and Cash had been arguing, according to charging documents filed by West Manheim Township Police, the York Dispatch, FOX43 and CBS21 News report.
(The West Manheim Township Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
Cash was holding her 9-month-old son, Javion, when Wertz allegedly shot her in the face with an assault rifle, the documents state. The documents allege Wertz had been drinking that night.
Wertz, who lives in his father’s basement, allegedly screamed, “Get up dad! I shot her in the face!” the documents state.
When Wertz’s father, Lewis Wertz, called 911 at 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, Wertz got on the phone and allegedly told the dispatcher that he and Cash had been drinking and got into an argument.
Wertz told the dispatcher he “had an AR-15 in his possession and when Nicole went to grab the rifle it went off through her head,” the documents allege.
Wertz said he didn’t know the gun was loaded.
While in the back of a patrol car after his arrest, Wertz allegedly said, “I told that girl don’t touch my rifle while it’s loaded and what does she do? She goes d–king with it and of course she blows her f—ing head off,” the documents state.
Lewis Wertz alleged to police his son is a “violent drunk” and that the couple has argued in the past, the documents state.
His father told police Joshua allegedly shot Cash because she had disrespected him, the documents say.
Cash’s mother says she cannot believe that Wertz allegedly shot and killed her daughter — especially when she was holding her baby.
“She had him in his arms,” she told FOX43. “Why would he do that?”
Green took the baby for a checkup after the shooting.
“The doctor checked his ears because I explained he had blood in his ears and diaper when the EMT`s brought him to me,” Green told FOX43.
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It is unclear whether Wertz is the baby’s father, though Green told FOX 43 he is.
Green dismissed Wertz’s claim that her daughter tried to grab the gun from him.
“She’s been raised around guns she would have never grabbed a gun not unless he was pointing it at him and she was pushing it away,” Green told FOX43.
Wertz and Cash had a tumultuous relationship, she said. “I begged her to leave him, I begged and pleaded but she wanted to make it work she loved Josh,” she said.
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