It’s one of the ultimate games of chance, and in this case, everyone came out a loser.
Late Wednesday, in a Westwego home, a 19-year-old man, his 17-year-old friend, and a 14-year-old boy and his 12-year-old girlfriend played a modified game of Russian roulette with a loaded .22-caliber revolver.
A short time later the single bullet in the chamber fired into the boy’s foot. Authorities later arrested everyone but the boy.
Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch said Michael Kelsey, 17, was watching the 14-year-old boy and the 12-year-old girl at Kelsey’s home in the 300 block of Sala Avenue when John Mayeaux came over with the gun.
Mayeaux , 19, suggested that the four play the game, which usually involves a person aiming the gun at his own head. Each person took several turns spinning the chamber, pointing the revolver at his or her feet and pulling the trigger before Mayeaux took hold of the gun about 11:30 p.m., Munch said.
At that point Mayeaux allegedly pointed the gun at the boy’s feet, pulled the trigger “multiple times,” and fired off the lone live round, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office arrest log.
The bullet pierced the 14-year-old’s left foot. He was later treated at a local hospital.
Munch said the four appeared to panic after the shooting and tried to make up several stories to hide what happened.
For example, the boy originally said he and the girl found the gun in an abandoned house and that he accidentally shot himself with it. That story didn’t hold up since the boy said the gun was in his pocket when it went off but there was no hole in his pants, Munch said.
The boy also said he then threw the gun in the Mississippi River. Munch, however, said that also is not true, although police don’t have the gun.
Mayeaux has not turned over the weapon, Munch said.
“They came up with several stories to try to hide it,” the police chief said of the night’s events.
Munch said Mayeaux came up with the idea of playing Russian roulette after he’d allegedly smoked more than a gram of marijuana.
Decades ago, Munch said, the game was commonly played. He said he does not hear about it much anymore, and he hoped this was an isolated incident.
“It’s a foolish game to play,” Much said. “Sooner or later someone is going to get hurt or killed.”
Mayeaux was arrested and booked with aggravated battery and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He remained jailed Monday on a $85,000 bail for both charges, according to Sheriff’s Office records.
Kelsey was booked with principal to aggravated battery and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. He, too, remained jailed Monday, according to sheriff’s office records. His bail was set at $11,000 for both charges.
The girl, who was not identified, was arrested for principal to aggravated battery since she took part in the game, Munch said.
Attempts Monday to contact anyone at the Sala Avenue address were unsuccessful.