A man in his mid-20s is wanted on a charge of attempted murder after allegedly forcing his mother to play Russian Roulette in her Jena Street home over the weekend, shooting himself in the process, New Orleans police said.
Derek Harbiston first apparently got into an argument with his girlfriend late Sunday afternoon, then went to his mother’s home in the 700 block of Jena Street and burst in on her, said NOPD Sgt. Ernest Crayton. Harbiston told his mother that he planned to kill them both, then pulled out a .38-caliber revolver and said they were going to play Russian roulette, Crayton said.
Harbiston pointed the gun at his mother’s chest, and pulled the trigger, but it didn’t fire, Crayton said. He then pointed it at his own shoulder, and it failed to fire again.
“Every time he pulled the trigger, she closed her eyes,” Crayton said.
He pointed it at his mother again and pulled the trigger without it going off, but the next time he pointed it at himself, he shot himself in the shoulder, Crayton said.
Crayton obtained the attempted-murder warrant based on the fact that Harbiston pulled the trigger twice, he said.
“If he only pointed at her once, it would probably have been an aggravated assault,” Crayton said.
Harbiston has not been located, Crayton said, after his girlfriend told police that Harbiston was at a location in Jefferson Parish that turned out not to be a real address. It is unclear how badly he was wounded, Crayton said; investigators found blood at the shooting scene, but his girlfriend told them Harbiston was OK.
Neighbors of the apartment complex on Monday morning said they did not hear the gunshot, but that they have made several calls to police about disturbances there in the past.
“I didn’t hear any shooting, but I saw the police and some girl crying in that house,” one neighbor said Monday morning.
Harbiston was arrested last September on a charge of simple kidnapping, after a friend accused Harbiston of taking his 1-year-old daughter from her home without his permission or knowledge after a night of drinking, according to the New Orleans Advocate. In that case, a girl was found unharmed at the Jena Street residence, the report states.