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Man Apparently Shoots Self in Game

May 31, 1987

A Thousand Oaks man died Saturday, apparently while playing Russian roulette in a Tarzana motel room where police found a crocodile in the shower, detectives said.

The victim, Mark Daniel Klein, 22, was shot once in the chest, Los Angeles Police Detective Pat Conmay said.

A witness told police she watched Klein play Russian roulette, and a revolver later was found to contain a single shell casing, Lt. William Gaida said. The circumstances of the shooting are being investigated, he said.

The pet crocodile appeared to be unrelated to the shooting, said detectives, who added that a couple staying in the room at the Chalet Lodge on Ventura Boulevard since Tuesday apparently own the 3-foot reptile.

The motel's managers had forced the couple to remove a dog from the room but apparently never found out about the crocodile, Gaida said.

Klein joined the couple and two others at the motel Saturday before 1:30 p.m., Gaida said. Klein removed all but one of the bullets from the gun, and, according to one witness, was "playing around with it" when he was shot, detectives said.

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