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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — The FBI’s civil rights unit has joined an investigation into a Charlotte teenager’s shooting death while she visited relatives in Chadbourn.

The Charlotte Observer reports a State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman confirms the FBI is helping uncover whether 16-year-old Jasmine Thar’s shooting was an accident or a crime.

Thar was shot Dec. 23 as she stood in the front yard of a Columbus County home with a friend and the godmother she was visiting. One bullet fired from inside a home across the street killed Thar and wounded the others.

James Blackwell told Chadbourn police his rifle fired without pulling the trigger. Dozens of lawsuits against North Carolina-based Remington Arms Co. claim its 700-series rifles have fired without a trigger pull, which the company disputes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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