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Deadly game claims teen
Jun 05, 2006 12:00 am
May 31, 2006 – A Mt. Juliet teenager lost his life after taking part in what local police said appeared to be a deadly game of Russian roulette played in his living room Friday afternoon.
The 16-year-old boy died the next day, Mt. Juliet Police Chief Winston "Ted" Floyd said.
Just hours after school dismissed for summer break Friday, the local boy apparently shot himself in his Belinda City home while playing what three friends said was a game of Russian roulette, Floyd said Tuesday. The police chief said the boys told police they did not take part in the game.
Floyd explained the teenager was with three other boys ages 13, 14 and 15 when the incident happened close to 2 p.m. Floyd said the boy died as the result of a .38-caliber bullet wound to the temple. The bullet entered the victim's temple, exited and lodged in a mirror above the living room couch, Floyd said.
"The boys told us the young man was playing Russian roulette and he put one bullet in the chamber," Floyd said. "The witnesses said the third time the boy spun the chamber and fired, the bullet was discharged."
The police chief said one of the boys called 911 and the victim was transported to Summit Medical Center where he later died.
Floyd said the boys at the scene were interviewed separately about the incident and all told the same story. The gun reportedly belonged to the parents.
The Mt. Juliet police chief said he felt from what was reported by witnesses, the victim thought he could play the game and win.
"We think each time he looked in the gun he could see the bullet and thought it was safe," Floyd said. "But that's not how this works. It's very tragic. He was playing with a weapon, and he lost the game."
Witnesses told investigators they tried to discourage their friend from playing the game.
"At this time, we have declared it an accidental shooting," Floyd said. "An investigation is ongoing."
The chief noted the tragic incident happened the first day of summer break and some children will be unsupervised. He encourages parents to come to the police department to pick up free gun locks.
Mt. Juliet Managing Editor Laurie Everett can be reached at 754-6397 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.