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Witnesses: Donnie McLendon shoots himself in the head while playing Russian Roulette

12:24 PM, Oct 8, 2012   |    comments
Booking photo of Donnie McLendon from a 2011 arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked and leaving the scene of a crash involving injury.
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St. Petersburg, Florida -- A man who allegedly shot himself during a game of Russian Roulette is fighting for his life at Tampa General Hospital Monday.

St. Pete Police say officers arrived to a home in the 1100 block of 32nd Avenue North to find a trail of blood leading from inside the home outside. Moments after they arrived, they found out a man, later identified as 26-year-old Donnie McLendon had been taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head.

Witnesses Daniel McKee and Thomas Rady, who spoke with police at the hospital, originally claimed they were the victims of a home invasion while they were hanging out drinking and smoking marijuana.

They told police the "home invader" shot McLendon in the head and then fled when Rady bumped the suspect and he dropped his gun.

When detectives interviewed the men a second time, they told them they made up the story and that they had been playing a game of Russian Roulette with a 44-caliber handgun loaded with one bullet.  They say McLendon was the third one to take his turn, shooting himself in the head. 

After he was shot, McKee and Rady -- along with McKee's girlfriend who was sleeping in another room -- put McLendon in the car and the men drove him to the hospital.

McLendon remains in critical condition.

Detectives recovered the firearm, along with a single casing from under the front seat of McKee's car at the hospital. No charges have been filed yet and detectives continue to investigate.

This is the second reported case of Russian Roulette in recent months to happen in the Bay area. Back in June, 17-year-old Thorin Montgomery of Largo shot himself while playing Russian Roulette. He died at a hospital several days later.


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