According to a criminal complaint, Shayanne Nelson, 18, and Tyrell Bitsilly, 21, were in the shower at the Zia Motel in McKinley County on Dec. 8 when the shooting happened.
Nelson’s 3-year-old son fired the gun, hitting the 8-month-old infant in the face.
Nelson said that she wasn’t aware of a gun in the room, according to the complaint, which was obtained by KOB. She claimed a previous room occupant may have left it there.
The infant was rushed to the Gallup Indian Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition.
Her mother told the police that she and her boyfriend ran out of the bathroom when they heard the gunshot and found the baby lying in the middle of the bed bleeding from the face.
Bitsilly described the gunshot as a “pop,” reported the Gallup Sun. He said he grabbed the child. A witness, who was found holding the child when police officers arrived at the scene, said that Bitsilly was wiping the gun clean.
Bitsilly is facing charges for abuse of a child resulting in bodily harm, abuse of a child placed in a dangerous situation, and tampering with evidence; while Nelson is facing charges for abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm and abuse of a child placed in a dangerous situation.
Bitsilly was involved in another shooting earlier this year.
He was charged with aggravated assault on a household member, shooting at a dwelling, tampering with evidence, and two counts each of aggravated assault and abuse of a child after allegedly firing a gun on Oct. 24 in downtown Gallup, reported the Gallup Sun.
A woman said Bitsilly fired a gun inside her vehicle while it was parked. He then left the car and walked away.
The woman said her mother and her two children were in the backseat at the time. The woman was not named so it wasn’t clear if it was Nelson.
Bitsilly allegedly fired the gun after she said she wanted to break up with him.
The woman said Bitsilly told her, “This is what you want.”
No updates to the case appear to have been reported.
Crime Decreased in 2017
The FBI said that both violent crime and property crime decreased in 2017 compared to 2016.
Overall violent crime decreased 0.2 percent from 2016 to last year, while property crime decreased 3 percent during that time, the agency said in September, releasing data from the previous year.
“There were more than 1.2 million violent crimes reported to UCR nationwide in 2017. There was a 0.7 percent decrease in murders and a 4 percent decrease in robberies from 2016 to 2017. Aggravated assaults increased 1 percent in 2017. The FBI began collecting data solely on an updated rape definition last year, and 135,755 rapes were reported to law enforcement in 2017,” the FBI stated.
“The report also showed there were more than 7.7 million property crimes last year. Burglaries decreased 7.6 percent and larceny-thefts decreased 2.2 percent. Motor vehicle thefts increased 0.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.”
These figures were compiled from more than 13,000 law enforcement agencies around the United States that submitted their crime data to the FBI.
Violent crime increased from 2015, the FBI said last year.
“The estimated number of violent crimes in the nation increased for the second straight year, rising 4.1 percent in 2016 when compared with 2015 data, according to FBI figures released today,” said the FBI in September 2017.
In 2016, there were an estimated 1,248,185 violent crimes. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter offenses increased 8.6 percent when compared with estimates from 2015. Aggravated assault and rape (legacy definition) offenses increased 5.1 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively, and robbery increased 1.2 percent.