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Gaming Guru

Mary Manning

Police: Man shot ex-wife as she held their daughter

19 November 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Metro Police have identified 24-year-old Mauricio Ernesto Solano-Mejia of Las Vegas as the suspect in the Monday shooting of his ex-wife at the Gold Spike hotel and casino in downtown Las Vegas.

The woman, who was shot in the face while holding their toddler daughter, is still in critical condition at University Medical Center, police said. Authorities didn't identify her.

Solano-Mejia has been booked into the Clark County Detention Center for one count each of attempted murder; child endangerment; assault with a deadly weapon, in this case a firearm; possession of stolen property, in this case a firearm; and violating a temporary protective order, police said.

Officers were called to the parking lot of the Gold Spike, 400 E. Ogden Ave., at about 12:35 p.m. Monday and found that the woman, her current boyfriend and an unrelated boy who the woman was babysitting had arrived to meet her ex-husband, police said.

The mother was supposed to pick up their 18-month-old daughter from Solano-Mejia, police said. They met in the City Hall Parking Garage.

Solano-Mejia then asked the woman to go to his car, parked in the nearby Gold Spike parking lot, to pick up their daughter, police said. The woman did, and as she held the child and started to gather some clothing, an argument started, police said.

During the argument Solano-Mejia allegedly grabbed the woman by the throat and shot her in the left temple with a small caliber handgun, police said.

The woman fell to the ground, still holding the girl, police said. A passerby grabbed the toddler and ran into the Gold Spike Casino, seeking shelter and help.

Two Gold Strike security officers along with the woman's boyfriend, who had remained at their car with the boy, restrained Solano-Majia until Metro Police officers arrived and took him into custody, police said.

The young girl wasn't injured in the shooting, police said, but was taken to a local hospital for a routine checkup before she and the boy were turned over to Child Protective Services. The boy has been released to his parents.