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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.

Comment on this Story

  • Neverownedaslave

    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.

  • Estella Perez

    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?

  • Irritated


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

  • Rhonda

    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.

  • Really?!

    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.

  • Octavia

    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.

  • bonchesva

    I could not agree more.

  • rilano

    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.

  • Interested Observer

    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.

  • Tiredtoo

    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!!!!!

  • Guest 4 U

    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.

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