JONESBORO, AR (abc24.com) - The Jonesboro Police Department is working with the FBI as they investigate how a handcuffed suspect could have fatally shot himself while in the back of a squad car.
Investigators say 21-year-old Chavis Chacobie Carter of Southaven, Miss. shot himself on Saturday, July 28, after he was picked up on a felony warrant from Mississippi.
A police report says Carter was in the back of a patrol car with his hands cuffed behind his back when officers discovered he'd been shot. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.
Police say they're investigating how Carter got the gun and noted that he'd been searched twice by officers after his arrest.
"I don't believe this was an accident. I know my son. He's not suicidal. He wouldn't have taken his own life," Carter's father, Charles Douglas, told abc24.com. "Under the circumstances they say this happened it's impossible."
In an August 3 news release, the Jonesboro Police Department noted that witness statements, police statements and dash-cam video all indicate that no officer drew their weapon, fired a shot or entered the vehicle at the time Carter was shot. Also the window of the patrol car was rolled up and intact, meaning the shot could not have been fired from outside the vehicle.
"Specifically, how Carter suffered his apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound remains unexplained and investigation of this part of the investigations continues given the unusual nature of this event," the release further stated.
Jonesboro police and the FBI are awaiting autopsy results in order to reconstruct the shooting.
"[Police] have a job to do. I understand that," said Douglas. "But if you have a badge and put that badge on to protect and serve, that's all people. Not some. They know the truth. That's all we want to know is the truth."