By Jennifer McRae

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)– The suspect arrested in the shooting of his neighbor through the apartment wall told investigators that the gun accidentally went off during an argument with his girlfriend, the bullet striking his neighbor Sally Strelecki in the head. Mickel McLean’s girlfriend told deputies a different story of what happened leading up to the gunshot.

Mikel McLean (credit: Arapahoe County)

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The shooting happened on Saturday morning at the apartments at 6823 S. Ivy Way in Centennial. Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputies rushed to the scene on a report of a disturbance and shooting just before noon.

Strelecki, 27, had been shot in the head and was rushed to Littleton Adventist Hospital where she remains in the ICU. It is unclear if she will survive her injuries.

McLean told deputies that he and his girlfriend were in an argument and the gun accidentally went off. His girlfriend said that McLean told her to say that they were arguing and they “started pulling on an armful of clothes” when the gun accidentally went off, according to the arrest affidavit.

Sally Strelecki (credit: Amy Graham)

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When interviewed separately, she said that that did not really happen. She told investigators that they were arguing in the bedroom when McLean “charged her as she stood in the closet, before striking her in the face” and that he exited the closet, grabbed a Taurus G2 C, 9mm handgun and pointed it at her from 8 feet away. That’s when, according to the documents, “Mickel fired one shot in her direction” but she said that she feels this was accidental as he has done something similar to her about one year earlier and believes “he was just trying to scare her.”

The Taurus G2 C, 9mm handgun was later found in the apartment.

At the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office headquarters, McLean told investigators during an interview that he and his girlfriend were arguing over the use of the restroom when they both struck each other and he started to pack his belongings. The two continued to argue and “he grabbed the Taurus handgun, struck [his girlfriend] in the area of her left knee which caused the handgun to go off.”

McLean told investigators that he “grabbed the gun because he was angry and tired of arguing.” He checked on his girlfriend and then went next door where he saw Strelecki lying on the floor with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. He told Strelecki’s fiance that it was an accident and that’s when the man told him to leave.

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McLean, 26, has been booked into the Arapahoe County Jail and is facing first, second and third-degree assault, felony menacing, illegal discharge of a firearm, and three counts of reckless endangerment charges. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 11.

Jennifer McRae