ANCHORAGE, Alaska (WPIX)—An Alaska-based solider is charged with murder after he gave a fellow soldier a bullet to put into a gun's empty chamber before he shot himself in the stomach in a drunken game of Russian roulette, according to court papers filed on Monday.
Jacob Brouch, 25, of California was charged with second-degree murder and weapons misconduct in the death of fellow Army soldier Michael McCloskey, 26, of Beverly, New Jersey.
The shooting happened at 2 a.m. on Sunday at Brouch's home in the Anchorage suburb of Eagle River. Brouch's wife and two children were at home at the time of the shooting.
According to court documents, Brouch told police that McCloskey observed him playing Russian roulette with his .44 revolver in a backroom of his house on Saturday. Brouch stated he could see the bottom of the bullet in the cylinder, which reassured him that the dangerous game of chance he was playing was indeed safe.
Later Saturday, McCloskey returned to Brouch's home to drink. While intoxicated, both posed for Facebook photos of each other holding firearms, including the .44 revolver. One of the various photos also included Brouch and McCloskey pointing a gun at each other, according to Anchorage police.
The weapons were put away, and the pair continued to drink, according to Brouch's statement.
Later in the evening, McCloskey asked to see Brouch's revolver again. Brouch produced the revolver, but emptied the cylinder before handing the weapon to his Army friend.
McCloskey spun the chamber a few times, according to court papers, before asking Brouch for a single bullet. Brouch gave him a round and while the men were playing Russian roulette, McCloskey shot himself in the abdomen.
McCloskey was transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center, where he died an hour later.
Brouch was arraigned on Monday on murder and weapons charges, and his bail was set at $250,000.
Both Brouch and McCloskey were assigned to the 3rd Maneuver Enchancement Brigade's Anchorage post, according to officials at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.