How does a presumably unarmed man shoot himself in the head while he’s handcuffed and sitting in the back of a police car?
That’s what police in Jonesboro, Arkansas are investigating today.
According to a police report published by TheGrio.com, Chavis Carter was riding as a passenger in a truck with two white males. Officer Keith Baggett stopped the truck and questioned the people inside. Chavis gave the officer an incorrect name and birthday, so the officer called for backup.
When Officer Ron Marsh arrived, the two officers searched all three individuals and didn’t find any weapons. Officer Marsh did find some marijuana on Chavis so he placed him in the back of his police car uncuffed. They placed the other men in the back of Baggett’s car uncuffed.
During that time, they found out Chavis’s real name and that he had a warrant for his arrest in Mississippi for missed court dates on a drug charge. So, Officer Marsh frisked Chavis again and put him in handcuffs behind his back before placing him in the back of his police car again.
Officer Baggett put the other two men in handcuffs and placed them in the back of his police car again. The officers then searched the truck and found marijuana and a powdery substance inside.
The two males told Officer Baggett that they didn’t know their way around Jonesboro and were only driving Chavis around to different locations, but didn’t know he had drugs. Officer Baggett says he and Officer Marsh took the handcuffs off of the first two men and let them out of Officer Baggett’s car. He says they read those two men their rights and then released them.
During that time Officer Baggett says they heard a loud thump accompanied by a metallic sound, but assumed a passing car hit something.
A few minutes later, Officer Baggett says he was getting ready to drive away when Officer Marsh came back over to his car and told him that Chavis had shot himself while sitting in the back of Officer Marsh’s patrol car.
When the officers went over to Marsh’s patrol car, Chavis was slumped over, with a gun shot to the right side of his head and his hands were still cuffed behind his back. Officer Marsh tried to remove the handcuffs but couldn’t because of the position of Chavis’s body. Officer Marsh then found the gun and placed it on top of the patrol car.
On the police report, they listed cause of death as suicide by self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Needless to say, Chavis’s mother, Teresa Carter, isn’t buying it. She told WTVR,
“I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal.
Teresa says her son called his girlfriend while pulled over, to say he’d call her from jail. The mother also said she was told that her son was shot in his right temple, but he is left-handed so she believes it doesn’t add up.
Others questioned how Chavis could have shot himself when he was was searched twice yet no gun was found. Sgt. Lyle Waterworth told WTRV that he thinks Carter pulled out a hidden gun and shot himself:
“Any given officer has missed something on a search, you know, be it drugs, be it knives, be it razor blades…This instance, it happened to be a gun.”
Now that police department is reportedly looking at all angles, including the possibility that Chavis may have been shot by someone else. The two police officers who were there that night are currently on leave pending the investigation.
So, we’re to believe that this man was able to pull a loaded gun out of some unknown location on his person and shoot himself whilst his hands were handcuffed behind his back? This story seems extremely suspect, but what do you think?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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