When the zombie outbreak occurred in Wisconsin, C.J. and his fellow security guards were the only living people left in the Crossroads Mall and locked the place down while they waited for rescue. However, a small group of survivors - Ana, Kenneth, Michael, Andre and Luda - had managed to get inside. Upon meeting the new arrivals, C.J. was quick to try and turn them away, believing that letting in other survivors would only invite trouble. Michael was able to convince C.J. to let them stay, though he was reluctant about it and was generally aggressive towards them.
When a group of new survivors came to the mall in a truck, C.J. refused to let them in. He got into a fight with Michael and Kenneth, even threatening to kill them, but Kenneth and Michael beat him down and locked him and Bart inside a holding cell in the security room. Terry remained free as he sympathized with the others and offered to help.
C.J. and Bart remained locked up for some time, but were allowed out in order to help find the mall's emergency power generator in the parking garage. From this point on, C.J.'s hostility to the other survivors had subsided, though Bart was still bitter toward them. Bart was killed by zombies following the generator incident and C.J. remained free from then on, helping the others in their survival efforts.
When the survivors left the mall for the marina, one of their two buses crashed and most of its passengers were killed. The group boarded the remaining bus and made it to the dock where a boat was waiting for them. As the others headed for the boat, C.J. was ambushed while trying to get the supplies from the truck. He tried escaping through the front door but to his demise, it was jammed. With no escape and zombies biting at him, he shot a flare to light it and pointed his handgun at a propane tank, blowing up himself and multiple zombies. The wreckage of the bus and the fire caused by the explosion held the zombie horde back while the other survivors boarded the boat and fled. His last words were "Fucking figures."