May 192014

Derek Harbiston (via

Derek Harbiston (via

A man who allegedly forced his mother to play Russian roulette on Mother’s Day — dry-firing the gun at her twice in a Jena Street apartment before wounding himself in the shoulder — has been arrested on an attempted-murder charge, New Orleans police said.

Derek Harbiston, 26, left his mother’s apartment in the 700 block of Jena Street on the Sunday afternoon of May 11 to visit his child’s mother, and returned around 7:30 p.m. angry and upset, according to court documents. Harbiston told his mother that he and she were going to play Russian roulette, then took a .38-caliber revolver, removed all the bullets except one, and spun the cylinder, the documents state.

Harbiston pointed the gun at his mother and pulled the trigger, but it did not fire, the report states. He then turned it on himself, but it dry-fired again, the documents state.

“Every time he pulled the trigger, she closed her eyes,” said NOPD Sgt. Ernest Crayton last week at a meeting of the Second District’s ranking officers.

He then pointed at his mother a second time, and the gun failed to fire yet again, but when he pointed it at himself on the next turn, it fired, striking him in a shoulder, the report states.

Harbiston left and his mother called police, and investigators found blood drops throughout the apartment, the documents state. Police then issued a warrant for his arrest on a charge of second-degree murder, reasoning that his intent to kill her was demonstrated by the fact that he pulled the trigger twice, authorities said last week.

Harbiston was booked Sunday on a charge of attempted second-degree murder, jail records show, but no details about the circumstances of his arrest were available. Bond was set at $60,000, and a domestic stay-away order was issued. Harbiston is also being held on an outstanding warrant from the Kenner Police Department.

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