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(WY) Teen dies in Russian roulette game

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Drizzt, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Drizzt

    Drizzt Well-Known Member

    Teen dies in Russian roulette game

    CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A 14-year-old boy died Sunday after shooting himself while playing Russian roulette, according to police.

    Evan Below, 14, shot himself in the head around 8 p.m. Saturday while playing with a .38-caliber revolver in the kitchen of a friend's house.

    Evan's mother, Peggy Below, said she heard about what happened around 9 p.m. Saturday when she called the house to talk to her son and a policeman answered.

    She said Evan had training and experience handling guns.

    "My son is dead. And it bothers me that someone didn't have the responsibility to lock up their gun," she said.

    Lt. Jack Branson said another boy, 15, handed the gun to Evan just before he shot himself. The other boy allegedly got the gun from under his mother's bedroom.

    Joyce Leforte, the other boy's mother, said Monday that the gun was in her closet and was not locked up.

    "We're very, very sorry for Evan's family," she said, sobbing. "We're there if they need us. I know what she's going through and our prayers are with the family."

    Leforte and her husband, who own the gun, were bowling at the time of the shooting. No charges had been filed as of Monday.

    "This has been very hard on both families," Branson said.

    Police said two other boys were in the home, as was a 23-year-old man, who was in another part of the house and did not see what happened.

    District Attorney Kevin Meenan said he will review the case after police finish their investigation.

    "At this point I can't speculate about what charges or statutes, if any, are appropriate," he said. "The Police Department has orally briefed us on the case and they are in the process now of completing their investigation."

    Walt Wilcox, principal of Dean Morgan Junior High School where Evan went to school, said in a prepared statement that counselors were at the school and would be available as long as they are needed. He urged parents to talk with their children about what happened.

    "Please do not assume that because your son or daughter was not closely acquainted with Evan that they are not affected," he said.

    He said several discussions have occurred on school grounds regarding safety, being a teenager and making good decisions.

    "Nothing can change what happened; however, through discussion and clarification with parents and students, hopefully a tragedy like this can be avoided in the future," he said.

    Funeral services for Evan were scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.

    In Russian roulette, one chamber of a revolver is loaded and a player risks his life to see if the bullet will fire when the trigger is pulled.
  2. Yohan

    Yohan Well-Known Member

    Darwin? Ohhh Daaaarwiiiin :D

    Boy, if only they would have that meeting before this tragedy :D ;) :p
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2003
  3. gudel

    gudel Well-Known Member

    unfortunately the gun owner would be charged since it's not locked up. good riddance of stupidity, ensuring his genes don't pass on.
  4. Jesse H

    Jesse H Well-Known Member

  5. guitar7272

    guitar7272 Member

    ummmm. How stupid can you be?!

    Gee, let me pull the trigger, I got a one in six chance of dying, but what the hell. If you ask me, thats suicide.

    What a moron.
  6. CZ-75

    CZ-75 member

    Darwin is definitely calling.

    How typical the mom wants to blame the gun owners.

    How contradictory when juxtaposed against her statement about her son's familiarity with firearms.

    The only logical inference here is stupidity. I knew enough at 14 not to play Russian Roulette, and my folks weren't "gun people."

    If you think your kids have questionable judgement about firearms, make them watch "The Deer Hunter." Definitely would make any kid think twice about Russian roulette; the image stuck in my brain from around age 12.
  7. Miss Demeanors

    Miss Demeanors Well-Known Member

    Although the kid is to blame, do you think some of the blame should be on the parent? Not pressing charges or anything, but would it be fair to say the parents are partially to blame for not locking it up?

    This article hits close to home because I was in almost the exact situation 16 years ago. At my 'boyfriends' ' house with two other people, parents at a wedding, he was 16, the two boys played russian roulette, boyfriend shot himself in the head. Yeah it was his fault for being a complete idiot, but his Father was a Chicago Police Officer that KNEW his son was doing drugs and constantly getting into trouble. Personally, I think knowing he (the Father) was going to be out all night, and his Son was home alone planning on having friends over , he should have locked the up the gun. The kid was in a rehab a few times, brought down to the station often, few minor charges, etc. Just my $.02. :)
  8. Tamara

    Tamara Senior Member


    Most every boy I knew when I was that age had a .22, .30-30 or .410 shotgun of their own in their room.
  9. MitchSchaft

    MitchSchaft member

    My dad didn't lock up any of his firearms when I was growing up. It was only after I moved out that he bought a storage locker.

    Hmm, now that I think about it, was he trying to accomplish something by not buying a safe until after I moved out?:scrutiny: :neener:
  10. Admiral Thrawn

    Admiral Thrawn Well-Known Member

    "ummmm. How stupid can you be?!

    Gee, let me pull the trigger, I got a one in six chance of dying, but what the hell. If you ask me, thats suicide.

    What a moron."

    That pretty much sums up the whole incident. It's like jumping out of a plane without a parachute to "see" if you'll die... :rolleyes:
  11. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Well-Known Member

    Miss D,
    I know this has to be an emotional issue for you but I would like to point out that for there to be blame then the individual would have had to have done something wrong IMO.
    Could the parents have done more? Possibly. They could have locked up all the guns, knives, medicines, loose wires, cleaning solutions... Did they do something wrong by expecting some measure of responsibility on the part of their son? I don't think so. At some point IMHO people have to start taking responsibility for themselves. This kid was into trouble, took a gun which didn't belong to him, did something incredible reckless with it- ALL for which he knew better. He knew better and did it anyway. The responsibility lies on the kid rather than the parents.
    Did the parents do something wrong by NOT coddling their kid, by trying to teach/allow him some responsibility? No. I am a teacher and deal with parents who attempt to remove their kid from any responsibility all the time. These are the kids who grow up to sue anything and everything when they, themselves, do something stupid. These are the kind of kids who grow up and give the rest of us a bad name. These are the kids of kids who grow up and blame the rest of the world for their problems and expect everyone else, through the machinations of the government, to pick up the tab to put food in their mouths and a roof over their heads. Wastrels for lack of a better term.
    I am sorry for your loss but I haven't any sympathy for the kid... or the dead kid's parents who, in this case, are still trying to blame everyone else [see also: gun owners] for their kid's, and thereby their own failure.
    [/rant] grades came out. I am now fielding gripes by such people and am in a foul mood. I had a kid like this in my room yesterday whining for 20 minutes, couldn't get rid of him. He pleaded personal problems but when I invited him to set up a parent-teacher conference so we could all discuss his problems he panicked. The kid just didn't turn in his assignments, still expected a good grade. I also got hugged by a kid who did well... even after I explained yet again that I just grade the papers and it was the kid who did the work. :scrutiny: There are good kids and bad kids.
  12. killjoy

    killjoy Member

    The kid committed suicide, it's that simple. Anybody knows if you close your eyes and cross the street you WILL be killed eventually. THe gun owner wasn't responsible in any way. :(
  13. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Well-Known Member


    I hear ya. My wife just started teaching about a month ago. She was TOLD by the school that she coul not fail any of her students this quarter/six-weeks. They base this on the fact that her students have had 6 other teachers this year, my wife being the 7th. Well, anyway, I made it a point to make the recommendation that she clearly state why the students are getting the passing grade this time, but NEXT quarter will be a different story. Florida schools really suck!!! I hope we can afford private school when we have kids.

  14. Edward429451

    Edward429451 member

    I agree it wasn't the parents fault. What if he had locked up the gun? Would the kids have grabbed butcher knives and and played circus knife thrower?

    Very sad. I drilled my kids hard on such scenarios.
  15. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Man, you guys are harsh and certainly not taking The High Road on this one. How do these comments look to folks trying to make up their mind about guns and gun owners. You don't look like the beacon of light for America you sometimes pretend to be, I'll tell you that much. And shame on you.

    It's unfortunate that someone used a gun for its intended purpose and it worked. And Mrs. Below doesn't sound anti to me at all. Considering what just happened with her son, the fact that she was quoted as saying anything positive about firearms tells me that, at least at the time of the quote, she's fairly pro gun.

    When I was growing up, I was around unlocked guns as I'm sure many other members were. Doesn't make this any less tragic. Silly yes, and certainly unfortunate. But not to poke fun at like has been done with this thread.
  16. Leatherneck

    Leatherneck Well-Known Member

    "Never speak ill of the dead..."

    TFL Survivor
  17. TallPine

    TallPine Well-Known Member

    And how many teenagers kill themselves or someone else every day while driving mom or dad's car ...?

    They really should keep those cars locked up. :rolleyes:

    I'll try to find something nice to say about Hitler, then.
  18. RustyHammer

    RustyHammer Well-Known Member

    Like a moth to a flame ...

    It's very sad. :(
  19. cslinger

    cslinger Well-Known Member

    Personally I do think the gun owner should be responsible for securing their firearms and or ammuntion while not in their direct control.

    When you invite someone into your house you are responsible for their safety and if they happen to be an idiot you should still do what you can to keep them safe. Now if the kid had broken in then it would have been different as nobody asked the kid to come in but nowing that you may have invited guests in your home means that you should take a certain amount of responsibility to keep everybody in the house safe.

    I don't think everybody needs to shell out 1000+ bucks for a safe but a simple lock on a drawer would have prevented this.

    I know that the great majority of us and or our kids would be fine around firearms as we have had much training as have our family and friends but the cold reality of today's world is that most people do not have any education when it comes to firearms and this lack of education is dangerous to say the least.

    I am all for culling the slow elks from the herd and letting Darwin happen but to be honest I don't know how I could live with myself if one of my firearms was ever used to injure or kill somebody because I did not take reasonable precautions to secure them when I or another responsible user like my wife is not around.

    Do I think it should be a law that guns have integral locks? NO
    Do I think there should be a law that you must have your guns locked up and unloaded? NO

    Do I think you should be held reasponsible if one of your firearms is left easily accessible for someone else to find and use in an incorrect manner? YES.

    Something as simple as locking it in a tool box could have prevented this.

    Flame suit on.

    By the way, it is very sad but let's face facts if a 14 year old kid doesn't quite grasp the physics of putting a gun to his head and pulling the trigger then he is either clinically retarded or just plain stupid and would have probably found a way to get out of the gene pool on his own at some point anyway. I just don't like that he was given the means to do it by an irresponsible gun owner. Too much ammo for the antis, and what if our rocket scientist had fired off a round or two and they had killed the neighbors....and even worse outcome in my mind.

    Just for the record I also place blame on the kids family if they did not raise him with any kind of gun safety which far too many parents do these days. Guns are bad is not gun safety.
  20. Carlos Cabeza

    Carlos Cabeza Well-Known Member

    Slinger, the kid was 14 not 4. I think that consequence for actions is completely understood at that age. The incident is definitely
    tragic, but once again, common sense should dictate the outcome of such an irresponsible act. My heart goes out to the relatives of the unfortunate soul, but carelessness will always result in tragedy.

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