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

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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