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
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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.

53 Comments

  • rilano says:

    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.

  • Irritated says:

    He.Had.Nazi.Memorabilia.

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

  • bonchesva says:

    I could not agree more.

  • Octavia says:

    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 says:

    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.

  • Rhonda says:

    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.

  • Neverownedaslave says:

    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.

  • Tiredtoo says:

    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!!!!!

  • Really?! says:

    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.

  • Interested Observer says:

    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.

  • Estella Perez says:

    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?

  • drose says:

    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 deal…you 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.

  • Guest2012 says:

    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!

  • Too Much!!! says:

    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…….

  • tweety says:

    grande you sound like one of the biggest racist in the area again i say look up the word racist and racism and then you will still try and twist it and try to make it fit your thinking

  • tweety says:

    there is that race card again still waiting for someone to tell me what a race card is racist and racism is here and will always be here and people will be judged by the color there skin and that is a fact rather you want to believe it or not and if you look deep into your past you were one of those .

  • aively says:

    NO PETITION WAS NEEDED, THERE WERE 5 ARREST IN THAT CASE, THE REASON THEY ARE STARTING A PETITION IS BECAUSE NO ARREST HAS BEEN MADE!

  • Guest76 says:

    There was no need for a petition in that crime, people were CHARGED for it. BTW, your post makes you sound somewhat racist.

  • guest33 says:

    I don’t think that this has anything to do with race. by the way if the shoe fits wear it! This is about justice being served! If it was someone black that did this they would have been locked up with no questions asked! It clearly seems to be a tragic accident but Why would someone be cleaning a loaded gun think about it! This world clearly has it’s racial issues that needs to be rectified, we all need to come together and fix this problem in stead of pulling against each other thats why we are far behind and losing as a wholeand this country is going down due to this RACIAL issues!

  • Guesttenheimer says:

    They’ve been given rights, they are given opportunities in education and the workplace where they either succeed, fail to utilize or fail to complete, so they must have SOMEWHERE to place the blame. They’ll use the color of their skin as an excuse rather than be accountable and responsible for their own success with the grasp of opportunity…or lack thereof.

    They have no other excuses othet than the race card anymore. You’ll rarely, if ever find a successful black person pulling the race card. At least none of MY successful friends don’t…and never have.

  • CCRES says:

    Obviously no charge was needed. What the hell do we have law enforcement for? To make those decisions. If you don’t like their decision, vote your ignoramous person into office.

  • Ronnie says:

    I am a black woman who is also sick of the race card being pulled in this country… To say the least, this country is still a very RACIST place to be but not just against blacks but really against anyone who is non-white, IN SOME CASES… You should be upset with the media and not ALL black people because for one there is NO WAY on earth you know how all of black people feel… The media fuels this crap with one sided stories that urges people to choose a side when the majority of the time. All the facts are not present… Also, the point of your links were to do what??? In those cases, ALL the guilty black people where brought up on charges, facing their entire lives behind bars with one being on DEATH ROW, which they DESERVE!!! In these case, you proved the other point and didn’t even know it because, JUSTICE was SERVED!!! This does not equate to the same kind of case that this blog is about and your evidence was just a justification of how you TRULY feel about black people I think… The petition was started I believe because NO ONE is in jail, DUH!!! And investigation should have been done, no questions asked but it wasn’t and that is unsettling to me as well… I’m not asking that the man be thrown to the wolves but a life (no matter of color) has been taken, do some research police!!! Lastly, if “you are starting to feel different” about all of your black friends, you should just live alone in your house and de-friend EVERYONE (black or white) you know because opinions are like buttholes buddy, everyone has them and YOU ARE not going to be able to control the way others may view things or feel… I’m SO SICK of whites using what SOME blacks do against the others who may not even view things the same as some others do, using this reason AGAINST the WHOLE race… Just like GOD will do on that great day, “judge EACH MAN accordingly”… Try it sometimes, its liberating…

    Ronnie

  • Tiredtoo says:

    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!!!!!

  • Grand Ole Party says:

    “To say the least, this country is still a very RACIST place to be but not just against blacks but really against anyone who is non-white, IN SOME CASES…” Typical B.S. Give it a rest will ya? Who are you trying to fool? Yourself? At this point in your life you should realize that there are just as many black racist as whites. Everything and I mean everything is blamed on the whites. Give it a break already, it’s yesterday’s B.S and it isn’t working anymore. You are sick of whites using what blacks do as an excuse and we are damn sick of blacks using whites as ANY kind of excuse. It works both ways stupid.

  • Justin America says:

    I believe his point was; “color is all black folks ever see.”

  • tweety says:

    remember the KLAN???

  • RSimmons says:

    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.

  • Repeat Offender says:

    I could not agree more with you, RSimmons. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t been arrested and charged. With everyday I have less and less faith in our judicial system.

  • Off The Cuff says:

    No, it would not be the case if there is a known manufacture’s defect.

  • Mike T says:

    I have said it before and will again. Guns in the hands of the untrained and unskilled is and will always be…..TROUBLE. When people decide that they want to handle firearms they should at the very least seek a gun safety program to attend. Once a person learns the proper storage and methods of handling the risk of accident goes way down. Never assume anything about a gun except that they are very dangerous. Don’t assume your gun is unloaded, or the safety is on, Don’t point your gun in any direction other than straight up or straight down. Parents that decide to keep guns in a home must teach their children to never play with the gun and never handle the guns unsupervised. A gun can only kill what it’s pointed toward and it’s not the guns fault what it’s pointed at. I pray this incident was unintended but as you say it is a form of Manslaughter.

  • CP says:

    The model 700 has a reputation of firing without pulling the trigger.It is a very popular rifle but has had a few instances of firing without the holder of the rifle dropping it or even with their hand near the trigger.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    ….would have a loaded hunting rifle inside his home and pointing in a direction where other people could be endangered.

    This can’t be pinned on a rifle that has seen consistent service for over forty years with the armed forces, and when properly maintained and assembled is as safe as any firearm can be.

    This is plainly and simply a case of individual negligence (at best) and the Remington Model 700 isn’t the problem.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    Since people want to malign the Model 700, let’s hear the whole story….

    http://www.remington700.tv/#

  • Guest322 says:

    Yes it been known that gun has issues but the media and the criminal govt wants a race war to start. As the USA deteriorates they the international bankster need a big distraction.

  • CCRES says:

    USA is becoming a black/white country again. So sick of all the blacks crying all the time. Its all about RACE with black folks. I have never had any problems with them, have had them over for meals in my home, and have always treated them like family, but you are beginning to make me feel different towards you all. You never cry when blacks do things to whites because you don’t see color. But when the role is reversed, color is all black folks ever see.
    Where was your petition and crying in this matter below?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/news/local/channon-christian-christopher-newsom-murders/

  • Guest45 says:

    It’s like saying that I have a car that has the reputation of accelerating without pushing the pedal. Should I drive it? to me is ridiculous to carry a gun that could end up on killing somebody and then play dumb.

  • Janet McSwain says:

    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.

  • Firearm certified says:

    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..

  • J.D. Hill says:

    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.

  • Abby says:

    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.

  • Guest 90 says:

    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.

  • tweety says:

    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.

  • Observer says:

    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.

  • ms1stunna says:

    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!!!!!!!!

  • Guest Apu says:

    There are currenty dozens of lawsuits pending against Remington related to alleged misfirings of the model 700 rifle. So there may be validity to what this guy is saying. And by the way, a couple of years ago, Toyota recalled 2.2 million vehicles because they did in fact accelerate without the driver pushing the gas pedal.

  • CK says:

    http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/remington-defective-triggers-lawyer-lawsuit-attorney

    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.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/39554936

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

    http://www.outdoorlife.com/forums/guns/rifles/centerfire/remington-model-700-triggermisfire-issues

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

  • Off The Cuff says:

    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.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    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.

  • model700 says:

    What else would you expect Remington to say ?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …to be able to reproduce the malfunction…but they can’t!

    I also expect people who own a firearm to use and maintain it correctly. Who loads a rifle in their house, rather than when they get to the field? Who allows their rifle to get filthy and rusted?

  • Jay C says:

    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.

  • Chon says:

    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.

  • Guest 4545 says:

    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.

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