STATELINE - A grandfather seriously injured his grandson when he shot him in the back with a shotgun early Thursday at Tahoe Nugget Apartments on Pentagon Road near Stateline.
Joshua Stone, 27, of Champagne, Ill., was flown by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center where he underwent surgery for an injured spine and kidney. Doctors told police that Stone had no movement below the waist and was listed in critical condition.
Stone had just arrived in town and been staying with his grandfather, David Lee Bayless, 70, for only one day. Bayless and Stone had been drinking for hours before the shooting occurred at 1:26 a.m.
"I saw them yesterday walking to the liquor store. They were drinking through the whole day," said John Ruiz, 30, who lives at the Tahoe Nugget. "The grandson was drinking something strong. He bumped into me and asked to see my tattoo."
Police found the apartment filled with bottles of King Cobra malt liquor and cans of Steel Reserve.
Stone dailed 911 to report his injuries. When police arrived, they found the door to the ground floor apartment open and the two men laying just inside.
Officers asked the men to come out. Stone eventually crawled out the door onto a sidewalk in front of the apartment and told police his grandfather had shot him.
Bayless used a 12-gauge shotgun and was standing 10 to 12 feet away from Stone when he pulled the trigger, said South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Chuck Owens. All nine pellets from the cartridge that was fired hit Stone on the right side of his back near his kidney.
Bayless fell to the floor after the shotgun blast possibly because of a leg injury he suffered in a car accident several years ago, Owens said.
When officers approached Stone they saw the shotgun propped against a couch. Initially they took Bayless into custody because of the shooting, but they released him at 10:55 a.m. on Thursday pending an interview they hope to conduct with Stone.
"He was not booked because it's alleged that he was defending a female in the apartment just prior to when the shooting occurred," Owens said. "Based upon that, and the fact the detectives felt he was not a flight risk."
Bayless is not considered a risk because of his age, the fact that he's been living here a number of years and from the information they gathered when they interviewed him, Owens said.
The woman involved in the incident lives at the Tahoe Nugget. When she was asked by the Tahoe Daily Tribune what happened, she shut her door saying, "I have nothing to say to you."