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Baby shot in motel room by 3-year-old

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Mother and boyfriend arrested for child abuse

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.

GPD Officer Darius Johnson was dispatched to Zia Motel, 915 E. Hwy 66, at about 6:35 pm Dec. 8 in reference to shots fired, according to a criminal complaint.

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 baby who had been shot in the face.

According to a Dec. 9 GPD press release, a person who had been nearby and heard the mother crying for help was rendering 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 said her 3-year-old son must have found a handgun and played with it, according to the criminal complaint. She reportedly said 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 told police they checked into the room and 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 heard a “pop,” and both he and Nelson exited the bathroom.

Bitsilly said he grabbed the child who was bleeding from the face, according to the complaint.

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 Dec. 12, police had no updates on the status of the child, who was being treated at the hospital. GPD detectives are investigating the incident.

By Mia Poris
Sun Editor