Autopsy reports ruled that the death of Chavis Carter, the 20-year-old man who was shot while handcuffed in the back of a Jonesboro, Arkansas patrol car, was in fact a suicide.
As reported by the Associated Press:
The state crime lab report says that the muzzle of a gun was placed against the right side of 21-year-old Chavis Carter's head when it was fired. Jonesboro police released the report to The Associated Press and other news organizations Monday under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The report says the manner of death was ruled a suicide based on autopsy findings and investigative conclusions from the Jonesboro police department.
The autopsy was done by the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and in the report it states:
In consideration of the circumstances of death and after autopsy of the body, it is our opinion that Chavis Carter, a 21-year-old black male, died of a gunshot wound of the head.
The agencies responsible for the investigation of his death were the Jonesboro.
Police Department and the Craighead County Coroner’s Office. They reported that he was detained during a traffic stop.
He was cuffed and placed into a police car, where apparently he produced a weapon, and despite being handcuffed, shot himself in the head.
At autopsy, the cause of death was a perforating gunshot wound of the head. At the
time of discharge, the muzzle of the gun was placed against the right temporal scalp.
The bullet perforated the cranial cavity, causing brain injuries, skull fractures, and death.
The bullet exited the left side of the head. The manner of death is based on both autopsy findings and the investigative conclusions of the Jonesboro Police Department.
Police said officers had frisked Carter twice after a traffic stop without finding a gun before he was fatally shot July 28. Both officers are currently on paid administrative leave.
The FBI has joined the police investigation and will perform ballistics tests on the .380-caliber, cobra semi-automatic handgun found near Carter's body. The gun had been reported stolen in Jonesboro, a month before.
To read the complete medical examiner's report, click here.