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Man claims AR-15 accidentally fired during fight with girlfriend, police say

A man claimed his AR-15 accidentally fired killing his girlfriend during an argument in their downtown apartment Tuesday, police said.

At around 5:40 p.m., police responded to an apartment in the 1000 block of South Third Street and found a woman who had been shot. She died at the scene.

The Clark County coroner’s office Thursday identified the woman as 22-year-old Ashley Benitez of Las Vegas. She died from a gunshot wound of the neck.

Jesus Navarrette, 23, Benitez’s boyfriend, called police saying they were in an argument and that his rifle accidentally went off during the altercation.

Police found Benitez in the hallway of the couple’s studio apartment. An AR-15 rifle was found near her body, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

Navarrette surrendered to police when officers arrived and noticed he was wearing blood-stained shorts.”

had blood-stained shorts.

Benitez and Navarrette both had visible abrasions on their bodies, and Navarrette told police they came home from work after an argument that escalated at the home.

He told police that during a physical altercation he and Benitez grabbed the rifle and that he ejected the drum magazine but forgot that there was a round in the chamber. Navarrette said he pulled the rifle into Benitez to break it from her grip but his finger was on the trigger and the rifle fired, according to the report.

Navarrette said he then tried to help Benitez and called 911.

Court records show Navarratte has been charged with open murder.

He remains in custody without bail and is due in court on Tuesday.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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