Man accused of shooting girlfriend with rifle during argument
LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - Authorities in Las Vegas say a man has been arrested in the killing of his girlfriend after the two got into an argument.
According to an arrest report from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, 23-year-old Jesus Navarrette called officers regarding a shooting, saying that he and his girlfriend, later identified as Ashley Benitez, were arguing.
KVVU reports the incident happened Tuesday, and police responded to the couple’s apartment where they found Navarrette outside wearing blood-stained shorts.
Navarrette told officers he had been holding a gun during the argument when it accidentally went off, according to the arrest report.
Benitez’s body was reportedly found inside the apartment. She was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Police said clumps of the woman’s hair were found throughout the apartment and her body had numerous abrasions on her hands and face.
According to officers, they located an AR-15 on a mattress inside the apartment that had a large amount of what appeared to be Benitez’s hair wrapped around it.
In an interview with investigators, Navarrette was noted to have numerous scratches along his arms, back, neck and legs, with an abrasion on his head and reddening to his chest and stomach.
Navarrette told police that he and Benitez had begun dating about two years ago and moved in together seven months prior. He said they had recently been fighting and Benitez was upset after she caught him masturbating a month ago, according to the police report.
Police said Navarrette told them that a verbal argument started, and she attacked him while he was in bed that evening.
According to the police report, Navarrette initially told detectives that he grabbed the rifle, aimed it at Benitez, and pulled the trigger. However, he reportedly shared further details saying she had also grabbed the rifle.
Authorities said Navarrette told them that a struggle did happen over the gun and he ejected the magazine but forgot he had a round in the chamber.
Navarrette told officers that he pulled the rifle into Benitez’s body when the safety was switched to fire and he shot her, according to the report.
Las Vegas police said Navarrette told them that Benitez said, “You shot me.” He then called 911.
Navarrette is currently being held without bail on a charge of murder, according to court records. His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 7.
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