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FBI steps in to investigate Chadbourn shooting death, neighbor relives tragic day

READ MORE: FBI steps in to investigate Chadbourn shooting death, neighbor relives tragic day

CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) -- Jasmine Thar was shot and killed outside of a Chadbourn home last December and nearly four months later no one has been arrested. The shooter claims it was an accident, but now state and federal investigators are involved.

Billie Bright is still reliving what happened on December 23rd.

“I see Jasmine's face a lot,” Bright says. “I can't imagine losing a child. I can't imagine what they're going through.”

She lives next door to the home where 16 year-old Thar died in the front yard. A single bullet fired from inside a home across the street killing Thar and wounding two other relatives.

“I got down on my knees beside Jasmine and I held her hand,” Bright recalls. “I felt so useless because there was really nothing I could do.”

23-year-old James Blackwell, who lived across the street, told Chadbourn Police his Remington Model 700 rifle fired without pulling the trigger.

“The guy across the street fell to his knees screaming 'no, no!' because he could not believe he did it,” Bright says.

Blackwell was taken to the police station in handcuffs that day, but was later released. The case however, is far from over. District Attorney Jon David says after the shooting, he requested both the SBI and FBI to help investigate alongside Chadbourn Police.

The Civil Rights unit within the FBI is reportedly looking into whether the incident was a tragic accident or a crime.

“I think about her all the time,” Bright says. “I will never forget her name. I will never forget that scene. But, I do believe that it was a tragic accident. I don't think it was on purpose.”

Jasmine's family has launched an online petition at, which has already generated about 9,000 signatures.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I just want to know after

I just want to know after seeing this racial talk and debates this is suppose to be One Nation Under God, right? Do you think there is going to be this racial divide when and if we go to Heaven? Its a sad and tragic situation but Im sure right now this beautiful baby girl is in Heaven and not once thought about what color anyone there with her is. Im sure justice will be served eventually. Its in Gods time.


Remmington was already aware of several cases this long gun discharges on its own and apparently kept that news quiet.

Let's not make this another race issue.

Are you serious?


But, yeah, okay let's not make it a race thing when a neo-nazi shoots a black girl.

It's not about's about responsibility.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the skin color of anyone involved in the incident. It's about responsibility. If Blackwell wanted to own and handle a gun, he's responsible for doing it safely. If it kills someone by accident while in his hands, that makes him guilty of involuntary manslaughter. If the weapon is of faulty manufacture, that makes Remington also responsible, but doesn't negate Blackwell's responsibility (he should be researching his weapon of choice before buying and if this was a known issue, that's on him for choosing to purchase it anyway). No matter what, the innocent family deserves to see justice done and those who choose to own firearms need to be held accountable for what those weapons do in their hands. End of story.

It's not about's about responsibility.

I completely concur in regards to the responsibility part. But due to the neo nazi memorabilia, it would be wrong to completely disregard that tid-bit. That fact would need to be investigated as well as testing the rifle to see if it is faulty. At the bare minimum, he should be charged with involuntary manslaughter. I'm trying to understand, how are you cleaning a rifle with the bullets loaded. You do not clean a firearm loaded?

It is about responbility.....

People are screaming against all the gun laws that are being put into place...well here we go, if we want the rights to own and operate guns, then we are responsible when said gun harms another.

I could not agree more.

I could not agree more.

RE: It's not about's about responsibility.

In all my years I've never seen a firearm discharge itself. Shotguns can fire if the butt stock is struck. Most handguns and rifles have safety devices in place and will only fire if the trigger is pulled. I have heard of people accidentally discharging a firearm due to playing with the trigger or having their finger on the trigger and twitching. It is definitely about responsibility and it's a scary thing knowing there are incompetent people out there who own firearms. This is the result of such and something must be done.

To sick and tired of race card pulling.

Beautiful girl! My heart always aches of a child's tragic death. Blacks will always be accused of pulling the race card if one speaks up or demand any type of justice or respect. This child and family deserves respect and justice regardless of color. An investigation should be conducted if this is an accident or not. A white person can never ever relate to the pain that blacks endure everyday even with those in high power positions. We have to work harder than our white co-worker,watch what we say,never ever gather in groups of more than three because we look suspicious in numbers and Yes, the talk we have to give our young black men before they drive (if you're stopped put both hands on steering wheel and don't move at all). Black people can only understand our voice we use at the office and the one we use at home. White people don't realize they're automatically coded with a negative deception of blacks. Whites do drugs(crack too),rob,steal,murder,and yes, there are more whites on food stamps. Blacks are enduring today what should be called Modern Day Slavery.

Sick of Folk like YOU

For comment titled sick of blacks using the race card and orhers who think lik him/her....U sound lik an undercover racist, with the "YOU ALL", the "any problems with THEM" and the "had THEM over for meals". People lik u sicken me~as if ur doing African Americans any favors by befriending them! You and your people hav never been oppressed or hated for something as simple as your skin color, so u would never understand! As whites you always expect justice just because you're white. As African Americans, we've always had to beg, plead, and cry for justice, so u and the many others who agree with u, DO The Math!!!!!

I think blacks are just as

I think blacks are just as racist to whites as whites are to blacks. It needs to stop all the way around. As far as being oppressed -- you have never been a slave, just as I have never been a slave owner. You are complaining about something that happened long before any of us was ever thought of. I am so sorry that someone did that to your ancestors but can not we as a nation move on and grow into the great America that we could be? The other thing that bothers me...why are you African American? You are a AMERICAN. I do not call myself English-American because my great great great grandparents are from England.
I do not expect anything because I am white. I WORK 60-80 hours a week. I have never been on food stamps or any goverment aid and as long as I am able to work I never will be.
I dont have children because I know I can not afford to right now. I am average middle class and I am okay with that because I know that everything I have I have WORKED very hard for.....its time more Americans obtain that mind set and stop draining the system
Your comment is racist.

Enough People!!!!!

Those of you who have posted forgiveness and praise for shooter have not experienced anything like this in your lives obviously. If it were your child or love one would you be so understanding and forgiving? this shooter had a responsiblity to take due care in this matter. People want to own guns but don't want to take responsibility for their carelessness when things like this happen. Since the Trayvon case opened up this war on race I see that some white people will stand by anyone that murders a black person as long as the victim is not their family or loved one. So here you are blaming the poor child that was murdered by saying she was in the wrong place at the wrong time when in fact she was in the right place at the right time. Media is not causing divide in this country or world for that matter, it is the people no matter the race who refuse to accept that every life is precious and valuable. God gave us life and aloud his only son to die in order that we have everlasting life. He did not say in order for white people to have everlasting life or just black people to have everlasting life. Every life is precious in his eyes. How many more gun cleanings will lead to more gun misfires? Be careful with what you choose to believe. To those in support of the shooter not being charged in this case need to remember this could have been your child or love one and then ask yourself this, Out of all the crimes commited in this country by black people how many black people have I stood my ground for? How many blacks have I blogged should go free? How many blacks have I blogged should not be charged with a crime they've commited? Save the media blame game and look within you and your heart. You may just find that you are a racist and blinded by the color of someone's skin. This is why black people need civil rights activists on their side because if blacks depended on fairness and the justice system they will lose every time. Just something to think about while you defending whats wrong with this world. All life is valuable!!!!!!!!

Killing should have a price

The story does not mention the race of either the killer or the victim, so I don't see why the race-conscious are complaining.

I you want to own a gun and if you kill someone with it, you should pay a heavy penalty unless you have a very strong case for self-defense. Once you possess a gun, you become completely responsible for the damage it does. If you don't want that responsibility, don't have a gun.


Soon the Attorney General Eric Holder will determine that the victim looks like his daughter (if he had one) and was wearing a hoodie on her way back from the candy store.

Justice for Jasmine Thar

It's not about pulling the race card. Are these parents (white or black) suppose to be silent and let their beautiful daughters death be unheard and forgotten. There are horrible crimes committed everyday by all races. White on White, Black on Black,Hispanic on Hispanic and vice versa.
People like silence no one likes to talk about race. Race is an issue and always have been. This is about a crime and justice. Not about race. Civil Rights have been the source of blacks voices just to be heard and taken seriously.

Please Please stop! Open your eyes. You are missing the point! A crime has been committed he need to be arrested and brought to justice FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL CHILD! Respect for her and her family.

IF you don't understand ignorance is the problem.
BUT if you refuse to open your eyes and mind well prejudice is your heart.

Cleaning his rifle?

I always thought to clean a rifle, it had to be on saftey and unloaded. Why was he "cleaning" a loaded rifle? There is more to this.

Thats all they know how to do.

That is all they know how to do is pull the race card. They can't take responsibility for their own actions. Granted this is not the situation this case. Seems like a very tragic accident. I bet if it was white girl he killed by accident there would be no issue.

My thoughts & prayers go out to the family of Jasmine, but tragic accidents happen and it's hard to accept and believe, so they are playing the blame game and race card, trying to seek some closure and make the neighbor suffer since they are suffering the loss of their child.

I am sure the neighbor is having a hard time living his life knowing he accidentally killed an innocent teenager. No one could live a normal life after takings someones life.

thats all they know how to do

for once can someone tell me what the hell is the race card.when you ask for justice something is wrong i know people don't what to believe that we still have racist and racism in this country but it is and its not going away.from the time the first slave was brought to this country we have been fighting for justice or you might be one of those that slavery was never part of the united state history.Now since you mentioned race card.Do you feel you are priviledged because you are who you are.

Twisted Comments

Black Americans will always be accused of throwing the race card whenever they demand any tyw of justice. It still need to be proven an accident. These parents hearts are broken that someone canshoot their precious Child and just walk away so feel that. So Save your selfish so called empathy because that wasn't. Closure you say they will never never ever have closure but at least give a fair trial of justice and respect in that Child's memory. You will never ever understand what Black Americans endure daily so until you step and I say step cause walking is to fast for what we deal with what deal with. You would not survive. If this child was really in your thoughts and prayers you would have said just so. So I pray that you one day could endure our pain.

The Murder or Manslaughter of Jasmin Thar

Had it beena White girl, even under the circumstances claimed by Jasmin's killer, manslaughter would be the approprate criminal charge. It may be that the investigators are carefully examining all evidence before charges are filed.
There really is no need to rush to judgment. It's going to happen! It's a long time before the statute of limitations runs in either case.

Race Card

No one knows if race was an issue or not but there are some known facts. If he was cleaning a firearm of any type he should have been familar with the safety precautions you take to prevent this totally avoidable type of "accident". Otherwise he shouldn't have the weapon period. Even if it was an accident it certainly shouldn't go without consequences, give me a break. Stupidity is no excuse for a free pass..

I don't see the race card

I don't see the race card here. I think if a white girl had been shot by a white guy and no one was arrested, the parents would have a right to ask for a full investigation. Your statement that they (the victims) are not taking responsibility for their actions - then admit that has no bearing here. Then why bring it up?

What if it was a white girl killed by a black guy cleaning his rifle? Do you think he would have been arrested? Do you think he should be arrested? Just asking....

I have not read everything on this, or how distraught the neighbor was at his "accident", but believe all killings, regardless of race, should be thoroughly investigated.

Why are you not covering this in addition to the story WWAYtv3?
Instead of creating another lynch mob mentality. There is video of this model firing with no trigger pull.

Here is another link for you to help with your job.

This is a horrible horrible accident. My heart goes out to all parties involved.

Trial lawyers, an anti-gun network, and a message board?

Uh, sure. Those are three reliable references, I'm sure.

When properly maintained, cleaned, and used correctly, the Model 700 is as safe as any weapon made.

Exactly who loads a high powered rifle in their home, unless they are under attack? Even if checking the feeding and functioning, who is so foolish as to use live cartridges?

There are few "accidents." There are lots of cases of carelessness or negligence. Having the FBI investigate this case is ridiculous. Trying to blame Remington is equally ridiculous.

Yes, Indeed

I was a firearms instructor for 25 years. The reports on this weapon misfiring are numerous even though the manufacturer will not admit it. Time after time it has been proven to misfire. I do wish people who purchase weapons would check out the consumer reports on them before buying, as some guns would be best left in the shop that is selling them.

I do suggest that all gun owners be thoroughly informed regarding the functions of their weapons. When starting to take guns out of cases for cleaning and such, always have the weapon pointed towards the floor (unless you live in apartment bldgs higher than the first floor) just in case something goes wrong. Also, you can't clean a "loaded gun", so unloading should always occur in a safe place and safe manner.

People just need to use a lot of common sense when handling any dangerous weapon. Lot's of gun owners "accidentally" shoot themselves while handling them. There is really no excuse for that when handled properly.

I don't think that the guy meant to hurt that innocent young lady or the others. It is a tragedy that a death and injuries occurred.

Heres what ive learned from

Heres what ive learned from the media the past month or so, If your white and shoot a black person your racist, but if your black and shoot a white person you barely make the media outlet! Accidents do happen and until they prove otherwise its just that, I dont give it long till Al Sharpton has his name all over this!

The reason for this is, if

The reason for this is, if you're black and shoot a white person you go straight to jail, don't pass go, don't collect $200, no big don't hear about it because the justice system doesn't work for black people until it's working against them, but you'll never be on the receiving end of this bias, just thought I'd enlighten you about why the media coverage seems disproportionate.

What A Joke

Yes, and Al will bring Jesse with him and Rev Barber too most likely. They take every advantage for media face time and the media cow-tows to them. People are trying to learn to get along and not think about race, but these racemongers keep stirring the pot. And, yes, I agree with the other poster that had the shooter been black and the victims white it would have made the news for about part of one day. That is sad.......


I fully support law abiding citizens having the right to possess and carry firearms.I also am a firearm owner. But there has to be a level of responsibly that comes along with that right. Casually handling a loaded weapon indoors without clearing the weapon first is not an accident,it is negligence. Involuntary Manslaughter is described as a death that results from a high degree of Negligence or recklessness during a lawful act. It certainly appears that standard should apply in this case.


remember the KLAN???