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Las Vegas woman charged with killing roommate said it was accident

After initially lying to police, a Las Vegas woman charged with murder told detectives she accidentally shot her roommate in August while the two were acting out what they would do during a burglary, according to an arrest report.

Maya Santos, 20, was arrested Aug. 19 after she fatally shot her roommate, 19-year-old David Tauiliili on Aug. 12 at an apartment in southwest Las Vegas, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Officers were called to the apartment about 1 a.m. Aug. 12 after Santos’ boyfriend called 911 to say Santos accidentally shot Tauiliili, according to Santos’ arrest report.

Tauiliili was taken to University Medical Center, where he died of a gunshot wound to the head on Aug. 15, police said. The Clark County coroner’s office ruled his death a homicide.

During an interview Aug. 12, Santos told police she was on the apartment patio with Tauiliili watching YouTube videos about their firearms early that morning. They had two their handguns with them, and Santos said she removed the magazine from one of the guns and put it in her purse, the report said.

Santos said she assumed the other gun was unloaded, but she “never pulled the gun slide back to check for a cartridge in the chamber,” the report said.

She claimed that she started to “waive it around” when she pulled the trigger and accidentally shot Tauiliili.

Santos admitted she illegally bought two handguns off the internet after she and her roommates had a “discussion about home safety and security,” the report said.

During an autopsy Aug. 18, a homicide detectives and the doctor performing the autopsy noted a wound on Tauiliili that was “indicative of Maya Santos pressing the gun to the head of (Tauiliili),” the report said.

Santos was again interviewed by detectives on Aug. 19, when she admitted she lied about the “circumstances surrounding the shooting.” She claimed that she and Tauiliili were “acting out what they would do if a burglar came into the house” when the shooting happened.

She told detectives she held her arm and gun “straight out” and pulled the trigger, striking Tauiliili.

An online fundraiser has been set up by Tauiliili’s mother, and his organs have been donated “because I would want the same if the circumstances were reversed,” she said in the GoFundMe post.

Santos remained in the Clark County Detention Center on Saturday with a $20,000 bail, court records show. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 27.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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