UPDATE: Neighbor tired to save life of teen after Russian Roulette

A teenager is in critical condition following a shooting in Columbus on October 31.

Posted: Nov 1, 2017 2:25 PM
Updated: Nov 2, 2017 8:20 PM

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been modified to reflect the latest information provided by Columbus police and the Lowndes County Coroner's Office.

UPDATE 11/02/17

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - The community is mourning after the loss of a 17-year-old after a game of Russian Roulette. A vigil was held Thursday night.

A close friend of the 17-year-old says her mother tried to save the teen.

“We heard his friends come out yelling, we never knew what it was until we went over there,” said Macy Barker, who grew up with Deloach. “They said he shot himself.”

Barker was home when the shot was fired. She and her mother hurried next door to help the teen, who police say shot himself in the head.

“My momma did what she could, said the neighbor. "She tried to put pressure on the open wound, which she did until the ambulance go."

Barker says the others inside left him in the house. Deloach later died at the hospital.

“It was all an accident, but nothing can rewind that day," Deloach’s friend said. “It really shouldn’t have happened.”

Columbus police have not confirmed how many people were in the house playing “Russian Roulette.” Police are also looking for who fired the retaliatory shot, which rang out seven hours later.

That shot hit Baker's house.

“All you heard were gunshots and mom said, ‘get to the floor,’ recounts Baker.

Barker says they were told the shot that hit their home was meant for the victim’s house.

Friends say Delaoch was full of life, always happy to joke around and uplift those around him.

“Tovaris was around everyday, and to think that something like this would happen is just unbelievable,” said Barker.

Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says 17-year-old Tovaris Deloach died Wednesday following the October 31 shooting on Poplar Street.

The shooting is believed to be self-inflicted as a result of a game of Russian Roulette.

Stay with WTVA for updates.

UPDATE 11/01/17 1:14 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Columbus police originally reported the death of the teenager shot Tuesday night. However, Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says the teenager is still alive as of Wednesday afternoon.

The name of the victim has not been released at this time.

The shooting happened on October 31 at approximately 8:38 p.m. at 149 Poplar Street. Officers found a 17-year-old male suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Witnesses stated the victim talked about "Russian Roulette" prior to the shooting. They say the victim took out a pistol, removed the ammunition cartridges from the weapon, reloaded the weapon with one cartridge and pulled the trigger after placing the gun to his head.

Police say the gun didn't fire the first time. Witnesses said the victim tried again and the gun went off.

Forensic examination supported the witnesses' statements, police report.

"Based on the preliminary investigation, it appears the guns shot was self-inflicted," stated police.

On November 1, at approximately 3:44 a.m. Columbus police responded to 151 Poplar Street to a shots-fired call at a house.

Officer found the house hit by gunfire in an apparent retaliation shooting stemming from the previous incident, police report.

PREVIOUS UPDATE 11/01/17 12:45 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Columbus police say the teenager shot Tuesday night in Columbus has died.

The name of the teenager has not been released at this time.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. at a house in the 100 block of Poplar Street.

The teenager was taken to the hospital for treatment following the incident.

Police say the preliminary investigation shows the shooting could have been accidental and no foul play is suspected.


COLUMBUS, Miss (WTVA) -- Columbus police are investigating a shooting that happened around 8 p.m. Tuesday in east Columbus.

Assistant Police Chief Fred Shelton tells WTVA that the shooting happened at a house in the 100 block of Poplar Street.

The victim, a teenager, was taken to Baptist Hospital in Columbus in critical condition.

Police say they are not seeking a suspect and they will not be releasing any more details at this time.

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