Man killed during deadly game ID’d |

Man killed during deadly game ID’d

The 37-year-old man killed during a game of what appeared to be Russian Roulette Saturday night has been identified by police as Robert Martinez of Grass Valley.

Before he was killed, Martinez was homeless and camped every night for several years in a forested area outside of Grass Valley, according to law enforcement officials. He often wore black and sunglasses and rode a mountain bike around town and was father to a teenage son who lives out of the area.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said Martinez had been arrested a few times by sheriff’s deputies within the last several years.

“It wasn’t anything significant,” Royal said.

Martinez was found in an apartment on the 300 block of Bennett Street with a gunshot wound to his head at approximately 11 p.m. Saturday after his friend called police. Martinez was pronounced dead by paramedics shortly afterward.

Grass Valley Police Department investigators said the men had been drinking heavily, smoking marijuana and playing a game with a handgun.

Investigators confirmed there was one round in the gun when the shooting occurred.

Grass Valley Police Detective Doug Hren said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

“It’s just a terrible mishap at this point,” Hren said.

As with any local death investigation, he said evidence such as fingerprints and gun shot residue collected at the scene will be processed by the California Department of Justice.

The lab results will not be available for several months, he said.

Hren would not release the identity of Martinez’s friend who was with Martinez at the time of the shooting.


To contact Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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