DA: No charges in shooting death of handcuffed man
NEW IBERIA – A federal investigation has concluded that no charges will be filed in a shooting death of a man who was in the custody of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Victor White III, 23, died from what has been described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound while he was handcuffed in the back seat of a patrol unit.
A Friday press release from the 16th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said there was not enough evidence to show that White’s gunshot wound was not self-inflicted.
On March 3, 2014, White was arrested for having cocaine and marijuana. The Attorney’s Office said the encounter appeared to be, “civil and cordial.” After White was handcuffed and placed in the backseat of the unit, he said he wanted to help detectives with future narcotics investigations.
The attorney’s office said video showed White reaching around to his front pants pocket while he was transported to the Criminal Investigations Division.
At the CID, investigators say White refused to get out of the unit. Deputies say White was crying and said he did not want to go back to jail and to tell his family that he loved them. Shortly later deputies heard White yell, “I’m gone” and a single gunshot.
Louisiana State Police investigated the scene and recovered a .25 caliber handgun, a spent cartridge casing and a small caliber lead projectile. Investigators say they found gunshot residue on White’s hands, which was later confirmed by a crime lab not in Iberia Parish.
According to detectives, White was also wearing two pairs of pants at the time of the shooting, both had pockets.
After family members were notified of his death, White’s brother asked detectives if he was shot with his own gun. The brother told detectives that White owned a .25 caliber handgun and he was carrying it the night of the shooting.
A forensic pathologist performed the autopsy on White’s body and concluded that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest.
The same pathologist concluded that “The injuries on the body are consistent with a contact gunshot wound from a smaller caliber handgun and are possible to be self-inflicted even with hands handcuffed behind the back.”
The FBI were assigned to the case after a family member made a request through the United States Department of Justice.
After an examination of the evidence, witness statements, dispatch logs, dash camera videos, forensic investigations, authorities determined that there was no prosecutable violation of any federal criminal civil rights statutes.