LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – The teenager accused of dropping a gun onto a playground, leading to a toddler shooting herself, did it just moments before the preschool class entered the playground, according to an arrest report.
On Friday, Nov. 3, officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were called to the area of Kell Lane and Nellis Boulevard after several people reported there was a shooting on a public bus.
Surveillance video from the bus showed Tshaun Rucker, 16, boarding the bus at around 10:30 a.m. at Nellis Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue, according to the report. Five minutes later, the victim, a man who is approximately 19, boarded at Lake Mead and Nellis boulevards.
The video shows Rucker and the victim talking before the victim sits down several rows in front of Rucker, police said. The two use their cellphones for a few minutes before they get into a “heated” conversation.
The video shows the victim standing and approaching Rucker, starting to punch him. Rucker moves toward the back of the bus while the victim punches him, according to the report.
Rucker then allegedly pulls out a gun and shoots at the victim three times. The victim then runs toward the front of the bus to leave as Rucker followed him out, the report stated.
Later, the victim told police that he could not remember anything about the incident.
Two witnesses on the bus identified Rucker as the shooter, police said.
Immediately after the shooting, video shows Rucker run to a nearby daycare center and jump over a wall into the east side of the playground at around 10:40 a.m.
An employee at the daycare center told police that at around 10:30 a.m., the playground was checked for any hazards by the center’s director before any children entered.
Surveillance video shows Rucker dropping the loaded firearm before jumping back over the wall and leaving, moments before a group of nine children and a preschool teacher entered the playground, according to police.
As the children began to play, a 2-year-old named Ava, identified by a family friend, and her twin brother, went to the corner of the playground where Rucker dropped the gun. Moments later, the video shows smoke in the air after Ava picked up the gun and shot herself in the chest, according to the report.
The teacher told police she heard the gunshot and immediately smelled gunpowder. She saw Ava on the ground with a gun lying next to her hand, the report stated. The teacher picked up the gun and put it on a nearby wall before picking Ava up and running inside the school, telling another teacher to call 911.
An arriving officer provided medical aid until medical personnel could arrive and take Ava to a nearby hospital. A friend of the family told Nexstar’s KLAS the bullet barely missed Ava’s heart.
According to the family friend, doctors put Ava into a medically induced coma and predicted she would remain in the hospital for at least two months.
Rucker was arrested in a nearby business after the shooting. He faces charges of attempted murder, two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure or vehicle, child abuse/neglect, disregarding the safety of a person or property, possession of a dangerous weapon on school or childcare property, and possession of a firearm by a child under 18.
Court records show he was in custody on $100,000 bail as of Monday. If he makes bail, he will be placed on high-level electronic monitoring.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 22.