A misguided youth who found himself in the national spotlight as a kind of poster boy for teen justice, is in trouble again.

Mychal Bell was the ringleader for the so-called 'Jena 6', a gang of black toughs out of Jena, Louisiana who some thought were unjustly incarcerated for beating another boy within an inch of his life.

Police say Bell shot himself in the chest yesterday after getting caught shoplifting on Christmas eve.

Doctors who treated bell say the wound is not life-threatening. Bell had surgery last night to remove the bullet.

According to Bell's lawyer, the shooting was accidental and occurred when the 18-year-old was cleaning his gun. The lawyer didn't say why a convicted felon was handling a gun but I'm sure he will think of some excuse.

Bell has been living in Monroe, Louisiana, a rural town about 70 miles north of Jena, with a foster family since agreeing to a plea bargain on the assault charges last December.

Bell was the only teen of the six to be sentenced for the brutal attack on a classmate in Jena in 2006. The plea bargain kept him out of jail, but he is still in custody of the Louisiana justice system.

Bell attends high school in Monroe where he carries a 3.0 grade point average.

  • Kymystry

    This is insane ... suicide cause u got caught shop lifting .. Is Jail REALLY that bad that you want to DIE ?

    I hope he gets the much needed help he's crying out for.

  • lovezoe

    Well, until the facts come out I will put this in the questionable box. If he REALLY wanted to do it, he would have. I pray that he has a fast and speedy recovery.

  • pinkscorpion

    Exactly. Hopefully he will see that God obviously has a plan for his life and Mychal's plan wasn't it. He has a real testimony if he can turn his life around. With a 3.0 GPA, he should have his sights set on college somewhere out of LA.

  • intensemocha

    He's a teen, and obviously a misguided and troubled one. Unfortunately he seems to have not recovered from his past and the jena 6 issue.

    It's an obvious cry for help-and I pray that he gets it. Society is so quick to write people off when they have misfortunes or run ins with the law, this young man still has a chance to turn his life around with the proper guidance, mentor, & support system.

    Pray for him-it's obvious he's wrestling some demons.

  • shunda

    I have so many questions here. A foster family? His parents were there when all this mess started. CNN says he was shot in the shoulder while cleaning the gun. I guess we will not know what actually happened.

  • Kymystry

    Thanks Keely .. thats what I get for reading auntie without doing my fact checking ..

    "Mychal Bell was cleaning a gun when it accidentally discharged, shooting him in the shoulder, his attorney, Carol Powell-Lexing, told CNN. He had surgery Monday night at a hospital in Monroe, Louisiana, and has not yet been able to talk, she said."

  • teecee

    this doesn't sound right and i would need more facts, but the the hate in the story was thick. beat a white boy and its a grave injustice drag a black man behind a truck until his body breaks apart and its not mentioned once.

  • Daisy

    I am not sure if was really shoplifting or what but I will say I hated to hear this story. I hope this young man gets the support and help he needs. I wish he could get out of that town and really start over. Suicide rates for young black men have been increasing over the last few yrs. Stay prayed up folks!

  • PAHairston

    Hello All. Committing suicide is such a selfish thing. My father, God rest his soul, shot himself in the head 20 yrs ago and it took my Mom years to get over his death. (I pray to God that He gives me the strength to go through whatever He has in store for me on this earth.) As for the Jena 6, hell, if 6 strapping boys had beaten my son like that, I'd want them under the jail also. This type of fighting is never, ever fair, no matter who's doing it or receiving it. (What ever happened to one-on-one justice?) I'm just saying, for what it's worth. Peace.

  • Daisy

    @PA it was NEVER confirmed that they jumped the guy. Some of the guys (teachers in the area co signed this) never touched the "victim". He was not jumped in the way the media would have you to believe. Had they beat the boys brains out then yes 22yrs but he was back up on his feet within hrs. I dont condone violence but maybe he needs to watch what he says the next time he sees black people.

  • starr

    Where are his parents? The cameras left, so where are they'd go?

    Ummmmm, its obvious that there is something not right with this child.....and i know he's 18, but he's clearly a child. Something just isn't right, and i don't think its him.....

  • missmiami

    Not comment!!!!! Supporting Jena 6 was an embarassment and a waste of countless resources. JMO!

  • The Divine Ms. K

    Not sure how shooting yourself in the shoulder constitutues a suicide, but whatever, Sandra.

    Boy, I hope we are not about to get on this nonsense again in the '09.

  • Deep Thoughts

    How do you guide children if the truth is not faced. even during Jena 6 it was clear these boys had aggression issues. But to strengthen our case of racism we threw those boys to the wind to prove points. It would have (in our eyes) weakened our case if we where to focus on the fact that these where troubled boys. I don't think Mychal Bell is the only one that's been in trouble since, including the parents. We even went as far as to make them celebrities.

  • Mississippi16

    Doesn't sound like suicide but an accident.

    It also sounds like Bell is a knuckle head. Like Shunda said, with a 3.0 GPA, he can be saved, go to college, and find better influences. We just have to pray that he's the one that change not be a bad influence on others.

  • Daisy

    @Deep so one fight and somebody has aggression issues?

  • Krysi J

    Yall sure that boy is only 18??!!....He look 35 with a wife and kids?

  • http://myspace.com/thegameoncw Bird

    See Jesse and Al ran in there with their silly marches for a cause that wasn't when what they could have been doing was mentoring these boys. I understand him being traumatized for receiving the media spotlight for a little screw up that would result in a slap in the rist for a normal teen, but maybe he will learn some act right from this incident. Get a freaking part time job and stop stealing. Geez.