Police Say Handcuffed Man in Back of Cop Car Shot Himself in the Head; Mother Says 'They Killed Him'

The mother of a man who police in Jonesboro, Arkansas, claim shot himself in the head while handcuffed in the back of a cruiser isn't convinced she's being told the truth about what happened to her son.

"I think they killed him, my son wasn't suicidal," Teresa Carter told News Channel 3.

21-year-old Chavis Chacobie Carter of Southaven, Mississippi, was riding inside a pickup truck that was pulled over last Saturday night. Officer Ron Marsh reportedly questioned and searched Carter, finding "some marijuana" on his person.

Running his name by dispatch Marsh discovered that Carter was wanted in Mississippi for missing a court date related to previous drug charge. Marsh subsequently handcuffed Carter, searched him again, and then put him in the back of the patrol car.

"As protocol he was handcuffed behind his back and double locked, and searched," said Sergeant Lyle Waterworth.

After questioning the other two occupants of the pickup, Marsh says he returned to his car to find Carter badly wounded in the backseat with a small caliber handgun by his side.

Keith Baggett, the second officer at the scene, later recalled hearing "a loud thump with a metallic sound" just before Marsh returned to his vehicle.

"Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, knife, razor blades, this instance it happened to be a gun," Sergeant Waterworth said.

Carter was rushed to the hospital, but was pronounced dead a short time later.

Teresa, his mother, believes the police are not telling her the whole story. She points to the fact that her son allegedly shot himself in the right temple despite being left handed. She also claims that Carter called his girlfriend after being stopped and told her he would phone her from jail.

Local authorities say an investigation into the incident is pending, and they are still open to the possibility that Carter's wound was not self-inflicted.

[screengrab via WREG]