Vardaman child dies after being shot in the head

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

VARDAMAN – A four-year-old girl is dead and two people have been arrested after it was determined the girl had been shot in the head.

Calhoun County Sheriff Greg Pollan said details in the Thursday night incident are sketchy but it was first reported that Jueliette Pachecano Gutierez had fallen off a bed and hit her head.

Pollan said medical crews were called to the home at 122 Culpepper in Vardaman and the girl was airlifted to Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center in Memphis were she later died.

Doctors in Memphis determined she had been shot and called authorities.

Pollan said Maria Gutierez, 22, the child’s mother, and Juan Carlos Sanchez, 35, the mother’s boyfriend, were arrested by Memphis Police at the hospital.

The two have been charged with felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor and tampering with physical evidence at a crime scene.

“The felony contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge is a broad charge and stems from neglect to care for a child,” said Pollan. “The tampering with evidence stems from moving the weapon used and trying to conceal it.”

Pollan said deputies executed a search warrant and have recovered a small caliber handgun believed to have been used in the shooting.

“We were initially told the child was jumping on the bed and hit her head,” said Pollan. “We got a call about 5 a.m., from a social worker saying she had been shot in the left cheek.”

E-911 operators got the initial call at 7:26 p.m.

“The investigation is continuing,” said Pollan. “We have mirandized the two suspects and have extradited them to Calhoun County.”

“They will be placed in the Calhoun County Jail and we will question them Saturday” Pollan said. “Charges in this case will be upgraded if and when we deem necessary.”