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Woman Allegedly Tells Police She Shot Roommate While 'Acting Out What They Would Do If A Burglar Came Into The House'

Police say Maya Santos, of Las Vegas, changed her story about her roommate David Tauiliili's fatal shooting after an autopsy indicated that he died from a point-blank gunshot to the head.

By Eric Shorey

A woman accused of shooting her roommate at point-blank range says that the two had been practicing what they would do in a robbery when the gun fired.

Maya Santos, 20, was arrested and charged with murder on Aug. 19. Santos allegedly fired a gun at her 19-year-old roommate, David Tauiliili, on Aug. 12 in their southwest Las Vegas apartment. It was Santos' boyfriend who called police at around 1 a.m. to alert them of the shooting.

Tauiliili was rushed to University Medical Center, where he died from the gunshot wound on Aug.15. The death was ruled a homicide by the Clark County coroner’s office.

When interviewed by police, Santos at first said she had been waving around one of the two illegally purchased firearms in the apartment when it accidentally fired, unaware it had been loaded, according to an arrest report obtained by The Las Vegas Review-Journal

However, the autopsy completed on Aug. 18 indicated that the gun had been held directly at Tauiliili's skull before it had been fired. 

When police interviewed Santos again the day after, she changed her story. This time, she told police that she had been “acting out what they would do if a burglar came into the house” when the shooting happened, the arrest report stated.

Maya Santos Pd

Leilani Holmes, Tauiliili's mother, now mourns the loss of her child.

“It’s just the worst pain ever. The worst pain. It almost makes me sick inside. Physically. I don’t know what to do,” Holmes told KSNV of Las Vegas, Nevada. “I’m a very forgiving person but this one is going to be really hard for me, because he was so special to me. But, I know I can forgive. I can forgive with the grace of God."

Santos is being held at the Clark County Detention Center. Her bail has been set at $20,000. Her next scheduled court appearance is on Sept. 27.

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