Las Vegas girl, 6, is in wheelchair and may never walk again after her spine was severed by bullet that neighbor fired through shared wall at apartment complex, landing him 11 years jail


The Las Vegas man accused of shooting his six-year-old neighbor, severing his spine and leaving her wheelchair-bound, has been sentenced to prison time.

Arreion Willoughby, 31, will serve four to 11 years’ imprisonment with credit for 127 days already served following Monday’s sentencing. 

The sentence was the maximum in the man’s guilty plea for two felony charges of willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons resulting in substantial bodily harm, and ownership of a gun by a prohibited person

The counts stemmed from an incident last November, where Willoughy fired a gun through the wall of his apartment, paralyzing then-five-year-old Draya Ransey.

The girl’s parents, Porschia Ransey and Gregory Harris, delivered victim impact statements virtually before Willoughby’s sentencing.

As he thought of his wheelchair-bound daughter, Harris fought back tears.

‘I beat myself up because my baby should not be laying in that bed, the fact that she can’t dance with me like she used to, the fact that she can’t run to me and give me hugs when I come home from work,’ he said.

Draya Ransey, 6, was paralyzed after a bullet fired through a wall of her family's apartment severed her spinal cord

Draya Ransey, 6, was paralyzed after a bullet fired through a wall of her family’s apartment severed her spinal cord 

The girl's parents, Porschia Ransey and Gregory Harris, delivered impact statements before the sentencing of their daughter's shooter on Monday

The girl’s parents, Porschia Ransey and Gregory Harris, delivered impact statements before the sentencing of their daughter’s shooter on Monday

Arreion Willoughby, 31, will serve four to 11 years' imprisonment with credit for 127 days already served after pleading guilty to firing the bullet that struck the little girl

Arreion Willoughby, 31, will serve four to 11 years’ imprisonment with credit for 127 days already served after pleading guilty to firing the bullet that struck the little girl

Although she is recovering at a facility, doctors have told the family that Draya may never walk again.

In the aftermath of the violence, the family is grappling with lasting trauma, including Draya and her four siblings being afraid to use the bathroom.

On November 20 of last year, the then-five-year-old was found lying in a pool of blood on the bathroom floor of her family’s apartment.

When officers arrived, they encountered Ransey, who was shouting for help, according to an arrest report.

She initially suspected that the little girl had fallen off the toilet and hit her head – but later learned that a bullet had entered the little girl’s back, severing her spinal cord before lodging in the side of her neck.

Police discovered a bullet hole in the bathroom wall and went into the neighboring apartment, but no one was home. They secured a search warrant and took Willoughby into custody.

Through the warrant, investigators obtained surveillance footage that showed Willoughby standing in front of a bed, appearing to hold and point something.

A loud bang sounded and Willoughby flinched before stepping away from the area where the bullet hole was later found.

Four children were in the apartment with him at the time. One told police that she was awoken by a loud popping sound, but assumed it was a frozen burrito in the microwave.

She then heard someone pounding on the door.  When Willoughby answered, a teenager started yelling that the neighbor needed help.

In November 2023, Draya was found lying in a pool of blood and was originally suspected to have fallen off the toilet and hit her head

In November 2023, Draya was found lying in a pool of blood and was originally suspected to have fallen off the toilet and hit her head

Porschia Ransey wept as she delivered her victim impact statement

Gregory Harris teared up as he thought of his wheelchair-bound daughter

The girl’s parents, Porschia Ransey and Gregory Harris, delivered impact statements before Monday’s sentencing

Police discovered a bullet hole in the bathroom wall and learned that Willoughby had fired a bullet from the bedroom of the apartment next door

Police discovered a bullet hole in the bathroom wall and learned that Willoughby had fired a bullet from the bedroom of the apartment next door

Police say Willoughby went next door and saw Draya lying in her own blood.

‘Nothing happened, I don’t even own a firearm,’ the man told officers. He insisted that he did not shoot the little girl.

Investigators learned that the apartment Willoughby was staying in was not his own. They interviewed the woman whose name the property was listed under, and she told them Willoughby had lived with her for the past few months. 

She insisted there were no guns in the home and, since Willoughby was a convicted felon, he did not own one.

However, she admitted that her brother owned a firearm when he used to live with her, but took it  with him when he moved out. 

The brother told police that he had purchased a gun for his sister as a surprise Christmas present and had hidden it in a box in the bedroom closet.

While his sister had no knowledge that the gun was in the apartment, the man said that Willoughby did, as he was with him when he bought it.

Willoughby was arrested and originally charged with seven counts of child neglect and child abuse resulting in substantial bodily harm.

The 31-year-old pleaded guilty in February to the counts for which he was ultimately sentenced.

During Monday’s hearing, Willoughby apologized and claimed the gun had discharged when he was doing laundry.

‘I never intended for that to happen,’ he said. ‘I did not know that firearm was loaded.’

He asked the family to give him.

However, Draya’s mother expressed that she was disappointed by the apology.

‘To hear the doctor say that your baby may never walk again when she used to run and dance,’ Ransey said, sobbing. ‘The fact that she’s on a ventilator.’ 

She explained that the family had to move to Utah while Draya received treatment.

‘It’s very traumatizing,’ she said. ‘My baby didn’t deserve this.’ 

The 31-year-old is a convicted felon who is not allowed to own or possess a firearm

The 31-year-old is a convicted felon who is not allowed to own or possess a firearm

Willoughby apologized to the family in court, but Draya's mother said the entire family remained traumatized from the incident

Willoughby apologized to the family in court, but Draya’s mother said the entire family remained traumatized from the incident

Draya and her three siblings remain scared to use the bathroom, and the family had to relocate to Utah while Draya was hospitalized

Draya and her three siblings remain scared to use the bathroom, and the family had to relocate to Utah while Draya was hospitalized

Willoughby’s defense attorney, Kendall Stone, unsuccessfully asked District Judge Jennifer Schwartz to sentence his client to probation.

‘He had no idea there was someone on that other side of the wall,’ Stone insisted. ‘It really was a tragic mistake.’

However, Clark County Chief Deputy District Attorney Dena Rinetti said Willoughby had acted recklessly.

‘An apartment full of children and he’s aiming that firearm into an apartment where he knows another family lives,’ Rinetti said.

She added that Willoughby was seen on video leaving the apartment with a bag after the shooting. Police never recovered the gun.

Stone admitted that Willoughby was a previously convicted felon who had served probation for previous offenses.

Court records show the Las Vegas man pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery in 2015.

Four years later, he pleaded guilty to child abuse, neglect or endangerment, and was placed on probation.

In 2022, he was placed on probation yet again after pleading guilty to attempted ownership or possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

‘I have no doubt that this was not an intentional act,’ Schwartz said, addressing Willoughby.

‘I don’t think that you sought out to do this or cause any sort of harm. But that doesn’t mean that you get probation.’

Draya’s prognosis is uncertain. In December, the little girl celebrated her sixth birthday from a hospital bed.

‘This is just an absolutely senseless act,’ Rinetti said.

She underlined the fact that Willoughby was not allowed to own a gun as a convicted felon. 

‘An individual who should have never had that gun, who should have never loaded that firearm and who should have never pointed that weapon at that wall, and who should have never fired that gun.’

Willoughby may be ordered to pay restitution to the family when the case is revisited in May. 



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