Adult accused of hiding gun, handcuffs after child shot playmate, according to Pueblo Police

3-year-old shot in chest by 5-year-old

PUEBLO, Colo. - Authorities say a 5-year-old boy who shot and critically injured a 3-year-old girl in Colorado found the weapon in a backpack lying on a bedroom floor in the house where the shooting happened.

Court documents released Wednesday say the boy pointed the gun at Lexus Lave and pulled the trigger, shooting her once in the chest at 10:10 Monday morning.

Her mother's boyfriend, 22-year-old Adrian Chavez, faces child abuse charges for allegedly leaving the revolver unattended at the home in Pueblo. Court records do not list his attorney.

The arrest warrant affidavit filed by police states that the 5-year-old and a 9-year-old friend took handcuff's from his mother's bedroom. They also took a Smith & Wesson .38 special six-shot revolver that was inside a backpack belonging to Chavez.  The two then used the cuffs to handcuff Lexus to a 3-year-old playmate in the back yard.

After their initial investigation, police said a 9-year-old was able to unload and load the gun before handing it to the 5-year-old who pulled the trigger. When the 9-year-old was asked how he he knew what to do with the handgun, he said he learned it from video games like "Black Ops."

Chavez told police that he was awakened by his girlfriend's sister who told him Lexus had been shot, according to the affidavit.

The 5-year-old and the 9-year-old told police that Chavez ran outside, removed the handcuffs from the two children and hid the handcuffs and the gun. He told police he hid the gun under the house and the handcuffs behind a woodpile at his grandmother's house. 

Chavez then fled from the home before police arrived.

Detectives state that Chavez was remorseful and emotional when they interviewed him.  He told police he "panicked" after the shooting because he knew he had an outstanding warrant and the police were coming, according to the arrest affidavit. He said he had the gun "for protection."

The victim's mother was at work when the shooting happened. No one else has been charged in the case.

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