weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Las Vegas man shot, killed by childhood friend, police say

A 23-year-old man has been identified as the victim of a fatal shooting earlier this week in the east Las Vegas Valley.

When police responded to the shooting early Monday morning, they found Xzavier Maheia suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, according to an arrest report for 25-year-old Isaiah Branch, who is charged in the death.

In interviews with police, Branch said that he and Maheia were childhood friends who decided to meet up when Maheia was visiting town. The pair, joined by Branch’s girlfriend, met up at around 2 a.m. to drink in Branch’s car, the report said.

When the three went into Maheia’s house in the 2000 block of Peyton Drive, Branch fell ill due to intoxication. As he was throwing up in the bathroom, Maheia sexually assaulted him, he alleged in an interview with police.

According to Branch, the assault stopped when his girlfriend opened the bathroom door.

She told police that she did not think the encounter was consensual, as she had seen Branch crying, but she briefly left the house, the report said.

When she tried to return to the home, the door was locked, and Maheia’s sister told her to leave, according to the report.

Branch’s girlfriend tried to call him multiple times. When he answered, the report said, he told her that he wanted to leave. He later told police Maheia had taken his phone and encouraged him to spend the night.

Maheia eventually let Branch’s girlfriend inside before several fights ensued and gunfire erupted, according to police.

Branch, his girlfriend and Maheia’s sister all described different versions of what happened.

Maheia’s siser said a fight broke out between her, Branch’s girlfriend and Maheia.

Maheia’s sister told police that Branch said, “Oh, that’s what we doing,” after seeing his girlfriend’s bloody nose, before he reached into his pocket for the gun.

Branch told police instead that Maheia had tried to grab his gun when the two were wrestling in the kitchen. Branch’s girlfriend told police that he was on the floor when she heard the gunshots.

Maheia’s sister said, however, that Branch had shot her brother from the living room, as he ran into the kitchen.

Police later reviewed video surveillance and reported hearing upwards of 21 gunshot “in rapid, continuous succession.”

According to Branch’s arrest report, police found that the physical evidence at the scene did not match the statements given by Branch and his girlfriend.

Branch, who faces one count of murder, is scheduled to appear in court June 27 and is currently being held without bail.

Contact Estelle Atkinson at eatkinson@reviewjournal.com or 6108108450.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.