Jonesboro, Ark. police are investigating how 21-year-old Chavis Carter was able to shoot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car.
Carter was found shot in the head while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car Saturday night, and now police have launched an investigation to determine what happened.
According to Kait8 News, Carter was a passenger in a pickup truck that was stopped by police on Saturday night and when Officers Keith Baggett Ron Marsh questioned and searched Carter, they reportedly found some marijuana and ran Carter's information.
He was wanted on a warrant out of Mississippi, so officers placed him in a patrol car.
According to Jonesboro Police Department Sgt. Lyle Waterworth:
"As protocol, he was handcuffed behind his back, double-locked and searched."
Just minutes later, police said they heard a thumping noise, turned around and found Carter shot in the head.
The two officers opened the rear passenger side door and found Carter in a "sitting position slumped forward with his head in his lap."
Officer Marsh said there was a large amount of blood on Carter's shirt, pants, seat and floor. He also said Carter's hands were still cuffed behind his back. A small caliber handgun was reportedly found beside him.
Waterworth said 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."
Teresa Carter, Chavis' mother, thinks that the police shot her son. "I think they killed him…My son wasn't suicidal," she said.
Another reason she believes her son didn’t kill himself, Chavis was shot in the right temple, although he was left-handed.
Both Baggett and Marsh were placed on administrative leave.