18-year-old Richard Mack Usher was arraigned this past Thursday on charges of attempted manslaughter and felony firearms after shooting his 16-year-old friend.
According to Ottawa County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Bennett, the teens were hanging out, drinking beer and smoking marijuana when some idle talk about a game of Russian Roulette came into the equation.
“There was some talk about a game of Russian Roulette and, at one point, Usher took the gun and pointed it at the victim and shot him in the face,” Bennett said, per MLive.com.
Police were called to the house around 9:15 p.m.
Six teens, ranging in ages from 16 to 19, were in the basement when the shooting occurred. Usher’s mother was reported to be upstairs in the home, but it is unclear whether or not she knew about the beer and marijuana.
“They were having a little get-together in the downstairs bedroom,” Bennett said. “They had some beer and a little marijuana. They were partaking in the substances and playing around with the handgun.”
The gun was a .22 revolver owned by Usher’s grandfather. The teenager had had it in his possession for some time.
According to the police report there was no evidence of any animosity between Usher and the victim, Brandon Kuiper, but witnesses insisted that Russian Roulette was a frequent “game” at their gatherings.
“That’s what our investigation is showing at this time,” Bennett said. “It revealed there were previous incidents of this type of horseplay. Those incidents were not reported to police until now.”
Police also discovered more than one gun in the basement and are looking into how the teens got the beer and marijuana.
“It certainly could have contributed to what happened. It’s not a healthy mixture at all,” Bennett said. “Certainly this whole thing is a terrible tragedy.”