The signs were there.
The 14-year-old suspected of wiping out his family in a murder-suicide had a troubling fascination with fire.
Staffers at Intermediate School 72 on Staten Island recommended C.J. Jones get psychiatric counseling after he set several small fires there, sources said.
It was unknown if his mother, Leisha Jones, enrolled him, but it is clear that while he sometimes seemed like a happy, doting older brother, C.J. was grappling with inner demons.
‘I can’t believe what they’re telling me. He’s no killer,’ C.J.’s grandmother, Marcia Anderson, 50, of Washington, D.C., told the Daily News, adding that the D.C. cops informed her of the murder-suicide.
As of Thursday night, she hadn’t been able to reach NYPD detectives to get more information.
C.J., his mom and siblings visited Anderson recently and she insisted he exhibited no signs of being troubled.
‘He was a nice boy,’ she said. ‘He kept touching my face, hugging me, saying, ‘Grandma, you okay?’
Brittany, 10, and Melony, 7 (below), were found with their throats cut.
Investigators believe C.J. Jones cut the throats of at least two of his younger siblings on Thursday, then ended his own life as the tidy apartment went up in flames.
C.J. was found in the back bedroom of the modest Port Richmond apartment, a razor filched from his mother’s hairstyling kit lodged under his body, the sources said.
His three younger siblings and mother, Leisha Jones, lay dead steps away in the living room.
Jermaine, 2, died at the hospital, likely from smoke inhalation.
‘You’d think only a monster could do this, not a little boy,’ said Chandra Franklin, 29, a family friend.
‘He was a troublemaker when he was younger but we thought he grew out of that. He was the man of the house,’ she said. ‘I don’t know why he did this, he must have been going through something no one could see.’
At first, investigators did not think the fire was suspicious. Then they examined the badly burned bodies and realized C.J.’s sisters – Brittany, 10, and Melony, 7 – had had their throats cut, the sources said.
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