When I originally heard the news this morning about 18-year old Mychal Bell accidentally shooting himself in the shoulder, immediately, my journalistic instincts kicked in. I emailed the Southwestern Regional correspondent of the Final Call Bro. Jesse Muhammad and asked "Did Mychal Bell accidentally shoot himself, or was it a suicide attempt? He responded that he was looking into it and was waiting to hear back from Mychal's father to get the scoop.
For some background, Mychal Bell was the central figure of the case of the "Jena 6" which galvanized grass roots activists and others like no other social justice case in recent memory.
Jesse text messaged me saying that the lawyer is still saying that it was an accidental shooting, however, Suzanne Malveaux just reported on "The Situation Room" that the story of Mychal Bell may have indeed taken a tragic twist. CNN is reporting that Mychal was arrested on Dec. 24 for allegedly shoplifting about $370 worth of goods from a Louisiana mall. After his arrest and subsequent release after $1,300 bond, Mychal, according to police reports, had been talking the past few days about the intense media scrutiny he had been under and remarked "he did not think he could live anymore."
I later received confirmation in a phone call from Brother Jesse who spoke with the family and it is true, Mychal Bell attempted to commit suicide. Additionally, medical complications have developed. One of his lungs collapsed and it is possible that he might not make it.
Pray for Mychal, his family and the other members of the "Jena 6" and their families.