Crime lab concludes suspect shot himself in right temple
Chavis Carter was handcuffed in the back of a police car
The 21-year-old had been searched for a weapon twice
His mother has said he was not suicidal
The Arkansas medical examiner has ruled the death of a man shot while handcuffed in the back of a police car as a suicide, the state crime lab announced Monday.
Chavis Carter, 21, died July 28 while in the back of a Jonesboro Police Department car from a close-range gunshot.
“At the time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp,” the crime lab’s report states.
Police said they discovered a .380-caliber Cobra semi-automatic pistol when they found Carter’s body slumped over.
Many people in Jonesboro were skeptical about the shooting, as was Carter’s mother.
“I think they killed him,” Theresa Carter told CNN on August 15. “I mean, my son wasn’t suicidal.”
She also said her son was left-handed and wondered how police could find a bag of marijuana and not find a gun when they searched her son.
She wondered how police could find a bag of marijuana and not find a gun when they searched her son.
There have been several protests in Jonesboro by citizens who don’t believe the explanation by police.
Police have released a video in which an officer dramatizes how someone could shoot themselves while in the back of a police car. The officer was the same height and build as Carter, police said.
They also have released the interview room video of a witness who said police were standing outside the car when a shot was fired.
The autopsy also showed that Carter tested positive for marijuana, amphetamines (including meth) and benzodiazepines, classified by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as depressants.
Also in Wednesday’s release, the police said they talked to witnesses who appeared in a video from Carter’s cell phone. One of the witnesses, who is in jail, said he texted Carter and requested he bring the gun to a drug deal that July night.