GOLDEN VALLEY, Ariz. (TCD) --
Three Arizona residents were arrested for assault, child abuse and hindering prosecution after allegedly making up a story about how an 8-month-old child was critically injured by a pellet gun, the Mohave County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday.
Mohave County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of an 8-month-old child "with suspicious injuries" at Kingman Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The child was listed in critical condition after being flown to the hospital. The child's mother had left the hospital before deputies arrived, according to the sheriff's office.
Sheriff's deputies determined the girl had been shot with two BB or pellet projectiles, one grazing the child's arm, the other striking her in the back of her head, fracturing her skull and lodging in her cranial cavity.
Detectives made contact with the child's mother, 34-year-old Golden Valley resident Marticella Lopez-Rodriguez, who told them she was gathering firewood with friends when someone fired an Airsoft gun at them, striking the child, according to the sheriff's office.
Detectives served a search warrant on a Golden Valley property and questioned local residents Zion Zachary Kauffman, 33, and Savannah Joy Cushman, 27.
Investigators allege Kauffman had shot 10 to 30 BBs at a flock of birds near the child, who was sitting in a car seat on the ground in the area of her mother as she collected firewood, deputies said. Two of the projectiles struck the child.
Detectives said Kauffman, Cushman and Lopez-Rodriguez administered medical aid, but waited several hours before taking the girl to a hospital by taxi. Detectives said the three adults made up a story about an unknown person randomly shooting at them.
Zion Kauffman and Savannah Cushman were arrested and held at the Mohave County Detention Facility on felony counts of aggravated assault, child abuse and hindering prosecution. A felony arrest warrant was entered for Marticella Lopez-Rodriquez for the same charges.
Detectives located Lopez-Rodriguez in Las Vegas, where she reportedly confirmed making up the false details. She was taken into custody and transported to a Las Vegas jail to be extradited to Arizona.