Police are offering a strange explanation of the death of 22-year-old Victor White III, a New Iberia, Louisiana man who allegedly shot and killed himself while in custody. According to State Police, White managed to smuggle a gun into a police cruiser and, despite his hands being cuffed behind him, shoot himself in the back.
White, an African-American man, was arrested in March of this year on narcotics charges. Police say that he refused to enter the police cruiser, so the arresting officer went to get help. When he returned, he found White in the back seat of the cruiser critically wounded from a gunshot wound to his back in an area of the parking lot with no security cameras to back up this wild story.
Despite police assertions, the autopsy report states that the bullet entered White’s chest, perforated his left lung, and exited his armpit area–a feat that would prove difficult if a person’s hands are cuffed behind his back. However, the report still lists his death as a suicide, changed from accidental shooting. The report also revealed that White suffered a blow to his face, listed as two upper facial abrasions near his left eye.
State Police Master Trooper Brooks David explained the discrepancy between the official police story and the autopsy report by asserting that troopers originally believed the bullet entered through the back, but that the coroner’s investigation has revealed the bullet to have entered through the front.
He said police are still waiting for evidence, and that he is unable to comment on an active investigation.
“My son didn’t shoot himself. I never believed it. I won’t believe it,” said Victor White, Sr. “I know they beat him before he arrived at the station, because those who were with him before he was arrested said he didn’t have a mark on him.”
Interestingly, the story has gone from something unlikely–that White shot himself in the back while handcuffed after smuggling a weapon into the police vehicle–to the nearly-impossible–that White managed, hands cuffed behind his back, to shoot himself in the chest.