Shooter tells his side of the story
David Bayless said he had to shoot his grandson Joshua Stone because he was acting like a “mad dog” and attacked a woman in his apartment.
“I was afraid of him, she was afraid of him. I didn’t know what he was going to do,” Bayless, 70, said. “I went and got some protection, but didn’t think I was going to have to use it until he jumped her, attacked her, threw her out the door. I thought he was going to go after her. I didn’t know what else to do.”
Bayless, who refused earlier interview requests by the Tribune, said he didn’t tell his side of the story before now because he thought the police told him not to talk to anyone. He called the newspaper Thursday after seeing an article about the August shooting with comments from his daughter and grandson.
Bayless fired a cartridge that contained nine lead shotgun pellets into the right side of his grandson’s back. The wound left Stone paralyzed from the waist down. Bayless said he wanted to shoot Stone in his legs or his buttocks but his aim went awry.
“I told police I tried to shoot low, but I’ve been crippled by a drunk driver, had 13 surgeries and can barely walk.”
Bayless said an ongoing sinus problem also affects his balance.
“I had no intention to hurt him as bad as I did,” he said. “I’m devastated. I was sick inside for almost a month. I still don’t eat too well or sleep good. It’s a pain that will be with me until the day I die.”
Bayless has not been charged with a crime. The El Dorado County district attorney’s office is still reviewing the case.
Stone said he made the woman leave because he thought his grandfather did not want her in the apartment. He denies ever touching the woman.
“Why he shot me, I don’t know,” Stone said by phone from Washoe Medical Center. “It was the first time I ever met him and he shot me.”
Stone, 27, came from Champaign, Ill., to South Lake Tahoe to meet his grandfather Aug. 15. They had never met because Stone’s mother, Janette, is estranged from her father.
After Stone arrived at South Shore, the two began drinking and took a trip to Lakeside Inn & Casino. The shooting occurred at 1:20 a.m. after they both returned to Bayless’ apartment on Pentagon Road.
Bayless, Stone and the woman were drunk when the gun went off, police said. The woman suffered some bruises but no serious injuries, police said.
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