LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man using a shotgun to play with a 1-year-old child and then doing the same with his girlfriend led to his death Sunday, documents obtained by the I-Team said.
Officers took Shanika Smith, 37, into custody on Sunday night for the murder of Jahmal Rogers, who police said was her boyfriend.
Police said officers were called to an apartment in the 900 block of East Twain Avenue for an accidental shooting just after 10 p.m., they wrote in Smith’s arrest report.
When officers arrived, she told them she had accidentally shot a man, later identified as Rogers.
Rogers died of a gunshot wound to his torso and was found in the apartment’s kitchen with a gunshot near him, officers said.
While speaking with witnesses, neighbors told officers Rogers and Smith had been arguing before the shooting. After hearing the gunshot, one witness went into the apartment and spoke to Smith, who said she had shot Rogers “during a struggle for the shotgun,” police said.
While talking to police, Smith told investigators Rogers had hit one of her children earlier in the day, pointing the shotgun at his head, police said.
Later in the day, Rogers reportedly punched Smith in the face “for smoking their last cigarette,” police said. That argument escalated and police responded to the area, but left.
Soon after, Rogers “retrieved his shotgun and stood with it at the window,” police said. Rogers also pointed the shotgun at the couple’s 1-year-old child in an act of play, police said, believing the shotgun was not loaded.
“Following [Rogers] ‘play’ pointing the shotgun at their child, [Smith] stated both her and [Rogers] began to ‘play’ with the shotgun by pointing it at each other and taking it away,” police wrote. “Their game continued for approximately 5-10 minutes until the shotgun accidentally discharged because [Smith] had her finger on the trigger when he attempted to take it away from her.”
Smith then changed her story, saying she had pointed the gun at Rogers after he had taken it away from her and pointed it at her.
Smith then changed her story again, saying she accidentally shot Rogers while he attempted to grab the shotgun from her while on the phone with an ex-girlfriend.
Smith was charged with open murder with a deadly weapon and child endangerment.