SHERWOOD, Ore. (KOIN) – A teenage boy died in Sherwood while playing Russian roulette, police confirmed to KOIN 6 News.
Authorities said the teen, who has not yet been publicly identified, showed up to a mobile home in the 23000 block of Southwest Main Street with a gun. Witness interviews led police to confirm the boy died while playing Russian roulette by himself.
By the time police and paramedics arrived shortly before 4 a.m. at the Carriage Park Estates, a mobile home community about a half-block away from the Sherwood Charter School, the teen had already died.
The Medical Examiner arrived at the scene and the teen’s body was removed.
Police were initially dispatched on reports of a suicide with a weapon, according to emergency officials. As officers were responding, they began getting additional reports from 9-1-1 callers that the teen was shot while playing Russian roulette.
At a mid-morning press briefing, Sherwood Police Captain Ty Hanlon said there was at least one “click” of the chamber before the teen shot himself with what they believed was a .357 revolver. The gun was not fully loaded and it’s not known where the gun came from or how the teen had it.
“It appears that he brought a handgun with him and from witnesses account that he was playing a game known as Russian roulette,” Hanlon told KOIN 6 News. “We believe that he showed up and initiated this all on his own.”
Merriam-Webster defines Russian roulette as “an act of bravado consisting of spinning the cylinder of a revolver loaded with one cartridge, pointing the muzzle at one’s own head, and pulling the trigger.”
Hanlon said they believe the teen is from Marion County and has some connection to the people in the house. Hanlon described the ages of the other people as young adults, around 20 years of age.
Investigators are also looking into his background to see if he had any suicidal tendencies.
Ken McPherson lives nearby but said he didn’t hear the shooting. He also said it’s not uncommon for teens to hang out at the home where the shooting happened, but said there hasn’t ever been any significant issues.
“It’s usually kids younger than 20 that I see down there,” McPherson said.
Ashley Burgdorf, who lives right across the way, was up early with her husband, who had to go to work and saw the entire street filled with emergency responders. A few hours later when the crews left, she said she saw the people who live at the house come outside.
“I asked them if everything is OK, anything we can do, and he seemed really shook up,” Burgdorf told KOIN 6 News. “He said that the boy just came out and shot himself, from what I understand. And he was trying to help him and he was really flustered, like he was really shook up about it.”
Like McPherson, she said there are young kids there “quite often, so I didn’t think anything odd about it. I didn’t even know there was a party going on there.”
Burgdorf said she’s lost a daughter and knows the pain the family must be going through.
“For the family, I’m super sad for them.”
She said she has 2 young kids in her house. “As far as I know, the shooting was, like, right there, like 50 feet away. So, you know, something could have easily happened.”
Investigators said it could take days to complete their look into this case. KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.