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Baby shot in motel room

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Mother and boyfriend arrested for child abuse

Staff Reports

Gallup Police Department officers responded to the shooting of an 8-month-old baby Dec. 8, which resulted in the arrest of the child's mother and boyfriend for child abuse.

According to a criminal complaint, GPD Officer Darius Johnson was dispatched to Zia Motel, 915 E Hwy 66, at about 6:35 pm, in reference to shots fired.

At the scene, Johnson met GPD Officer D. Hoffman, who arrived before him and had picked up an individual who was carrying an 8-month-old child who had been shot in the face.

According to a Dec. 9 GPD press release, the person who Hoffman found holding the baby "heard the mother crying for help and was rendered first aid when Hoffman arrived on scene."

Hoffman transported the child to Gallup Indian Medical Center and GPD officers spoke with Shayanne Nelson, 18, who reportedly said she was in the bathroom taking a shower with her boyfriend, Tyrell Bitsilly, 21, when she heard a gunshot go off and both she and Bitsilly ran out of the bathroom.

Nelson stated she saw her baby daughter lying in the middle of the bed bleeding from the face.

Nelson reportedly said her son must have found a handgun and was playing with it. She said Nelson she did not know the gun was in the room, and that it must have been there prior to their check-in.

Nelson said while she took the shower, she left the baby on the bed and the 3-year-old in the same room, alone.

Bitsilly reportedly said he was in the bathroom with Nelson, who was taking a shower, while the children were alone in the motel room. While in the bathroom, he allegedly heard a “pop,” and both he and Nelson exited the bathroom.

Bitsilly reportedly said he grabbed the child who was bleeding from the face.

A witness, the individual who was found carrying the bleeding baby, reportedly saw Bitsilly wiping the gun clean after the child was shot.

Bitsilly and Nelson were handcuffed, transported to the McKinley County Adult Detention Center and  booked — Bitsilly for abuse of a child resulting in bodily harm, abuse of a child placed in a dangerous situation and tampering with evidence; Nelson for abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm and abuse of a child placed in a dangerous situation.

As of the night of Dec. 9, the child was still being treated. GPD detectives are investigating the incident.