Two Jonesboro, Arkansas officers are on administrative leave while police investigate how a 21-year-old man was shot in the back seat of their patrol car.
21-year-old Chavis Carter was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was pulled over by police before 10 p.m. Saturday night, WREG reports.
According to Officer Keith Baggett, Officer Ron Marsh found “some marijuana” and several plastic baggies when he searched Carter. A quick check turned up a warrant on Carter in Mississippi, where he lived.
The cops then handcuffed him, searched him again, and put him in the back seat of the patrol car. As officers searched the pickup truck, Baggett claims he heard “a loud thump with a metallic sound” on his trunk and saw Marsh motion to him.
According to police, the thumping noise was Carter shooting himself in the head -- despite his hands being cuffed behind his back. Though officers searched Carter twice, they claim they missed the handgun that Carter allegedly used to shoot himself. Carter later died at a local hospital.
“Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, knife, razor blades, this instance it happened to be a gun,” Jonesboro Police Sergeant Lyle Waterworth said.
“I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal,” said Carter's mother, Teresa. She noted that her son was left-handed but he suffered a gunshot wound to his right temple.
The investigation into the shooting continues.
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