Victim says he didn't deserve to be shot

STATELINE - The man shot in the back by his grandfather last week told police from his bed in Washoe Medical Center he didn't deserve to be shot.

Joshua Stone, 27, of Champagne, Ill., had been in town one day before his grandfather, David Bayless, 70, blasted him in the back with a 12-gauge shotgun early Thursday. He was listed in serious but stable condition Monday.

Police questioned Bayless after the shooting but never booked him for any crime because he told officers he shot his grandson in defense of a woman.

Police interviewed Stone Saturday.

"Their stories were very similar except they differed in one critical part," said South Lake Tahoe Police Detective David Stevenson.

Stevenson would not elaborate on the differences between the two men's stories other than to say: "(Stone's) angle is that he didn't deserve to get shot. (Bayless) says he was defending the woman. The DA will have the ultimate decision as whether or not (Bayless) gets prosecuted."

Initial medical reports from police indicated the nine shotgun pellets that went into the lower right side of Stone's back may have left him paralyzed from the waist down.

The shooting occurred at 1:26 a.m. at Bayless' Tahoe Nugget apartment, which off U.S. Highway 50 near Stateline. Stone was staying with his grandfather at the time.

The two relatives had been drinking for several hours before incident. The woman who Bayless said he was defending lives at the Tahoe Nugget. Police said she was not inside the apartment when Bayless shot his grandson from a distance of about 10 feet.

Ruthanne Bicker, manager of Tahoe Nugget apartments since 1979, said the building is normally quiet.

"This apartment has never had this kind of problem," she said. "We were all shocked something like this could happen. If the grandson hadn't shown up, this probably never would have happened. David has been a tenant for eight years and as far as I know no one has ever called the police on him."


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