A Mississippi teen died after shooting himself in the head while playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette – which sees players load a Six Gun with a single bullet and take turns firing the gun at themselves – with several other teenage friends.
17-year-old Tovaris Deloach was pronounced dead less than 24 hours after police received a call regarding a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Columbus, the Clarion Ledger reported. The victim was found in a bedroom with three other male teenagers who were also in the room when the shooting occurred.
A spokesman for the Columbus Police Department said that Deloach was the one who initiated the game of Russian roulette, producing a revolver and removing all the bullets. He then placed one bullet back in the chamber, held the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire.
The second time Deloach tried, though, the gun discharged. Emergency responders rushed him to a nearby hospital in critical condition on Wednesday afternoon, but he was taken off life support later that evening.
Despite the account that Deloach’s friends gave police, word reportedly spread throughout the neighborhood that the shooting was not an accident. What has been described as a retaliation shooting occurred at 3:45 am the following morning at the house next door to where Deloach was shot, with someone firing at the house from outside. Nobody was injured.
Investigators tested each of the three friends’ hands for gunshot residue, but the results of the test can take up to a year to get back. However, police are operating under the assumption that Deloach in fact shot himself.
“Forensic evidence and witness statements and the forensic examination of the scene support the fact that it was a self-inflicted gunshot,” the spokesman said. “All the evidence points toward it. The facts are the facts.”