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

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Submitted: Thu, 04/19/2012 - 3:12am
Updated: Thu, 04/19/2012 - 8:09pm

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 signon.org, which has already generated about 9,000 signatures.

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53 Comments on "FBI steps in to investigate Chadbourn shooting death, neighbor relives tragic day"

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

2015 years 8 months ago


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

2015 years 8 months ago

I could not agree more.

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

Guest 4 U
2015 years 8 months ago

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.