Drug-Fueled Russian Roulette Game Puts Teen In Hospital, Friend Charged

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TALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Six friends, alcohol, marijuana, and a handgun – that’s the concoction that has left a 16-year-old with no brain activity and his friend in Ottawa County Jail.

Richey Usher, 18, has been charged with attempted manslaughter and felony firearms possession.

The victim, Brandon Kuiper, is in “very critical” condition at Spectrum Butterworth in Grand Rapids.

Investigators say Usher, Kuiper, and four of their friends – all between the ages of 16 and 19 – were in the basement at a home on the 3900 block of Leonard Street in Tallmadge Township on Wednesday night.

FOX 17 sat down with Usher’s grandfather, who lives at the home. He said that his grandson is the one who shot his friend. Both of the boys attend New Options High School in Allendale.

The shot was fired from a .22 handgun that belonged to the grandfather, investigators say.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s investigation shows that the teens were under the influence at the time of the shooting.

“There’d been some alcohol use down there,” Lt. Mark Bennett said. “There’d been some use of some drugs – some marijuana. A very dangerous mixture, as you can imagine, and now you put the firearm in play, and now we have a tragic result.”

Bennett says the kids told investigators that this isn’t the first time they’ve engaged in this potentially deadly game.

“In the last few months, similar events have taken place at that same residence with what we believe to be the same gun,” he said.

Bennett says investigators are still looking into more details of the case.

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24 comments

  • gchenoweth2013

    @Rrr I understand your comment and thank you for commenting but because younger ages might be seeing what you are posting i need to delete your comment, feel free to post a comment again but please refrain from the language, I hope you understand.

  • Concerned Parent

    What about the gentleman allowing this to happen? Where are his charges? He knew full well what was going on down there. What about the parents of the minors? At least the victims mom knew what was going on and was a supplier of his marijuana in recent years. She has an older son that she allowed to live the same lifestyle and even supported him in it. I am willing to bet it was no different for Brandon. This is very sad and proof that parents need to be good role models and encourage good life choices versus leading their children down paths that lead to such tragic outcomes.

    I pray this opens the eyes of some people and encourages them to be better parents.

    • motherof3

      i wish you all knew the circumstances, the two adults that where home are bed riden and not ablt to be checking on an 18yr old boy who is old enough to know what he was doing was wrong, so maybe you should know the circumstances before you go blaming the parents….. just saying " I know for a fact of the circumstances " it had nothing to do with good or bad parenting, it was the bad choices teenagers made.

      • Concerned Parent

        The victim was allowed to do those things from a young age. That is a matter of parenting. And the mother, even if bedridden, can smell weed and has a phone to call the cops on the punks for breaking the law. Inaction, look what it led to.

  • floridadude

    I've been around hundreds of responsible people who are smoking pot and drinking and none of them want to play russian roulette because… they're not stupid. I've known plenty of safe, responsible gun owners who would never point a gun at any living being if they didn't absolutely have to. The point is, it's complete crap for that lieutenant to say, “(a) very dangerous mixture, as you can imagine…" NO. What's dangerous is that the parents/grandparents allowed the boys — at the height of their age of stupidity — access to all of these things without supervision. I'm sick of hearing people like the author say things like "drug-fueled" when that's not the issue. If you let your 5-year old drive a semi-truck and he/she crashes it in to someone, are you going to call it road rage? Or are you going to say, "THAT KID SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD ACCESS TO A SEMI-TRUCK." Come on, people. As human beings, we can all be better than this.

  • Man

    Will people ever stop hurting each other? No! So think who you are spending your short time on earth with. Make good desiions .it could be your last!

  • Kim

    This is a very sad event. My son went so school this these boys. I don't think we need to be pointing the finger at the parents right now there both dealing with a lot. As parents we can't be with our children 24-7 they do stupid stuff. I don't know you but I know I did stupid stuff and it wasn't anything my parents would have approved off or allowed me to do if they would have known . If the boys wanted to drink and do drugs they would have found a way. My heart is breaking for these family's and both the boys, I pray the young man pulls threw and this is something they both will have to live with ( god willing ).

    • Concerned Parent

      Dealing with something that could have been avoided by being a parent and not allowing a CHILD to drink and do drugs from 12 years on. It is sad. That is very true. BUT, did they hesitate to charge the kid who shot Brandon? No. So why should they hesitate to look into the homeowner and the parents responsibility by allowing and encouraging such activities? I am sure the boy who pulled the trigger is hurting tremendously as well. It is not like he really wanted to shoot his friend. It was a dangerous game being played while being unsupervised while people knew they were partaking in the drugs and drinking. They equally as responsible as the kid who pulled the trigger for their neglect.

    • Concerned Parent

      You must have missed the fact that his mother allowed, encouraged, and went as far as purchasing his drugs and alcohol from age 12. Twelve. He wasn't even a teenager yet when it started. It wasn't him sneaking off to do those things, they were approved activities by the mother. That holds responsibility and there should be accountability to adults who allow children to take such path without care.

      • motherof3

        I lived with this family when he was 12 and no such thing was going on, and how did his bed riden mother go buy him alcholhol. KNow your facts…. I am gettiong angry reaDing these accusations when none of you know the facts……..

        • Concerned Parent

          The victim, not the accused. I know nothing of the accused boy's family and don't pretend to. I know about the life the victim led and victim led and what his mother allowed him to do.

  • THE PUNCHING BAG

    I BELEIVE GUN SAFETY SHOULD BE A REQUIRED CLASS AT SCHOOL AS EARLY AS TH 5TH GRADE. THESE KIDS WERE TREATING A GUN AS IF IT WERE A TOY. I'VE TAUGHT MY SON AT AN EARLY AGE ABOUT HUNTING, AND BIG PART OF THAT WAS TOTAL RESPECT FOR A FIREARM. I CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT NOT WORRYING ABOUT HIM GETTING INVOLVED IN A STUPID GAME LIKE THIS. EVERY PERSON INVOLVED WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS SHOULD BE CHARGED, AND MADE AN EXAMPLE OF. SHAME ON THE PARENTS FOR NOT DOING THERE JOBS….THESE ARE OUR CHILDREN, OUR RESPONSABILITY TO TEACH RIGHT FROM WRONG.

    • naomi

      that is just plain STUPID comment "remove the gun" how about remove the illegal drinking and the illegal drugs !!!! and i dont know this whole story but even at age 12 he was doing that stuff—these were not 12 year olds—they could have stopped doing the drugs and drinking at any time—it was their choices to keep following this path. people make stupid mistakes as a child but to keep doing it is their choice. and why do people always blame the parents—there are people out there (of ALL ages) that have a completely different life style than what their parents tried to provide for them

  • WXLF

    You cant blame the gun,the alcohol or the marijuana. Or even the mixture of the three. I get drunk and high all the time and most of times around guns. Not saying anyone is using the guns but they are around. I think you need to take a deeper look at who pulled the trigger

  • PABOUND

    The details will sort out….later. For now — one kid is near death and his buddy is sitting in jail knowing what happened. I can not imagine how both families feel, for now, stop looking for someone to blame adn just hold them in prayer. Let the law figure it out–the community needs to withhold judgement until those who are respons. are judged.

  • anonymous

    Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven…

    All u people are so quick to judge people ..
    you should All be ashamed of yourselves..

  • andrea russell

    They are kids I think the kid being charged with manslaughtdr sould be charged with a lesser crime if anything I think at his age this wll be enough to live with, and there were others involved im not saying they are to blame im just saying this is one of,those things where everyone and noone is to blame it is a tragedy and everyone loses.

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