Is Jasmine Thar the next Trayvon Martin case? The family of a teenage girl who was fatally shot by a neighbor five months ago in Charlotte believes the shooting may have been racially motivated.
16 year old Jasmine Thar was shot and killed while visiting family in Chadbourn, N.C., during the Christmas holiday. The shooter, a neighbor of the family Thar was visiting, claims his high-powered rifle accidentally fired when he was taking it out of its case.
The teen’s mom is now asking prosecutors to press criminal charges.
At a news conference, Carletta McNeil said she believes her daughter, Jasmine Thar, was the victim of a racially-motivated crime.
WSOC reports the family is concerned the shooting may have been racially motivated after police found a Confederate flag and Nazi memorabilia in the shooter’s bedroom.
“I will not be satisfied until justice is served,” McNeil said.
Jasmine, a sophomore, was shot Dec. 23 in front of a house in the small town of Chadbourn, where she was visiting with her godmother and a friend.
As they walked toward a vehicle for a shopping trip about 11 a.m., a single bullet fired from a home across the street struck all three, killing Jasmine and injuring the others.
According to a police report, the shot came from a Remington Model 700 rifle owned by 23 year old James Anthony Blackwell.
Blackwell told police he had taken the rifle from a case and it fired without him pulling the trigger.
The Remington Model 700, one of the most popular bolt-action rifles, is the subject of dozens of lawsuits, alleging a defect causes the weapon to fire without a trigger pull.
Chadbourn police took Blackwell to the station, but did not arrest him and later released him.
FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch confirmed the agency’s civil rights unit is investigating.
Blackwell is white and Jasmine and the two other victims, 42 year old Treka McMillian and 17 year old Jah-mesha McMillian are African American.
Jasmine’s family has said Columbus County District Attorney Jon David told them he asked the FBI to intervene because of evidence investigators found in Blackwell’s house.
The family met for more than an hour Thursday with the DA in Chadbourn, NC. The family thought there would have been a decision announced, but the DA said he is still investigating.
High profile lawyer Willie Gary was at the meeting. He said he was pleased with the meeting and says he will go after all those responsible in this death. He says if the gun maker Remington is responsible, he could sue that company.
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