Maya Santos Las Vegas woman charged with murder of roommate after claiming gun going off during practice run of possible burglary at home.
A Las Vegas woman who fatally shot her roommate at close range has claimed they were simulating how they’d react if a ‘burglar came into the house,’ police said.
Maya Santos, 20, who has since been charged with the August 12th murder of David Roman Tauiliili, 19, recanted her story after police challenged the woman’s claims – with the woman admitting she’d lied, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Santos first told detectives she was on her apartment patio with Tauiliili while watching YouTube videos about their two firearms she’d recently acquired when she pulled out the magazine from one of the weapons and slipped it into her purse, according to an arrest report.
Santos said she bought the weapons after having a discussion with her roommates about home safety, police said.
Santos said she’d assumed the other gun was unloaded, and didn’t pull its ‘slide back to check for a cartridge in the chamber’ before waving it around and accidentally pulling the trigger, hitting Tauiliili in the head.
But an autopsy conducted three days after Tauiliili died found that he had wounds indicative of Santos ‘pressing the gun’ to the man’s head, the Review-Journal reports.
Santos then admitted a day later during a second interview with detectives that she had lied about the shooting, saying Tauiliili was actually struck as they were ‘acting out what they would do if a burglar came into the house,’ according to the arrest report.
Santos claimed she shot Tauiliili while holding her arm and gun ‘straight out,’ cops said.
It was later discovered Santos having bought the weapons online illegally.
19-year-old David Tauiliili was a giver. Now, David’s mom is preparing to bury him after he was fatally shot by his roommate.
— KSNV News 3 (@News3LV) August 22, 2019
How did she not know there was still a bullet in the chamber?
Tauiliili’s mother, Leilani Holmes, said her son was kept on life support for several days before being pronounced dead on Aug. 15. Holmes ultimately decided to donate his organs and saved the lives of five people in the process, KSNV reported.
‘It’s just the worst pain ever,’ the mother told KSNV. ‘The worst pain. It almost makes me sick inside, physically. I don’t know what to do.’
Holmes said Santos inexplicably ‘didn’t know there was still a bullet in the chamber’ before the fatal shooting.
‘I’m a very forgiving person but this one is going to be really hard for me, because he was so special to me,’ Holmes said. ‘But, I know I can forgive. I can forgive with the grace of God.’
An online fundraiser set up on Tauiliili’s memory has reached $5,123 of a $10K goal as of Monday noon.
Santos, who was arrested on August 19 and since charged with murder, remains held on $20,000 bail at the Clark County Detention Center. She’s due to return to court on Sept. 27, online records show. It remained unclear why she sought to kill her roommate.
19-year-old David Tauiliili was a giver. He would buy gifts for his brothers. He would go home nearly every day to check on his grandmother. Now, David’s mom is preparing to bury him. He was shot & killed by his roommate who was playing with a gun. She’s facing a murder charge. pic.twitter.com/E6NWf4KVkM
— Kelsey Thomas (@KelseyNews3LV) August 21, 2019