Autopsy: 4 Police Bullets Killed UNC Student

An autopsy shows that a University of North Carolina student was drunk when he was shot four times and killed by a police officer.

The North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office released the findings after toxicology results on 21-year-old Courtland Smith of Houston found alcohol in his system, but no sedative drugs.

Smith was killed in August after a highway confrontation with police in Randolph County. Smith said in a 911 call he was driving at high speed and wanted to kill himself, but he repeatedly told the dispatcher he wanted officers to stop him.

The autopsy found the fraternity president suffered gunshot wounds to the lower abdomen, the left thigh, the upper back and a fourth bullet that passed through his left forearm into his upper abdomen.


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  • by Annaleise Location: ENC on Oct 19, 2009 at 05:51 AM
    At least we know what the intent of the suicidal student and the officer that had to take his life, was. "Suicide by cop" is the worst case scenario. The person who elected to prod an officer to take his life is gone. The officer who had to ultimately do the worst thing possible, is haunted by this forever. Such a selfish act for a person who wanted to end their life. You took the life of an innocent person with you...
  • by Keith Location: Greenville on Oct 16, 2009 at 06:07 PM
    We all know what killed this man. I would not have had an optosy done. It's sad that he had to make the officer shoot him.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2009 at 11:38 AM
    Was an autopsy really necessary? he had 4 bullets go through him, he didnt die from a cold
  • by Emily Location: Greenville on Oct 16, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    To Anonmyous: I totally agree! This is what you call a police-assisted suicide. And like with Kerry Turner, don't call the police if you don't want them to handle the situation. They will handle it as they see fit and with actions that are within the law (and their agency's policies). Boo-hoo for this student--there are other ways to get help. I feel more sorry for the officer that had to shoot him. He's probably more emotionally wrecked than the kid was in the first place!
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Oct 16, 2009 at 06:16 AM
    He got his wish. Why is this news?
  • by Anonymous on Oct 16, 2009 at 02:21 AM
    The title of the article says, "Autopsy: 4 Police Bullets Killed UNC Student." A more acurate title would be, "Autopsy: Acting Like He Was Reaching For a Pistol On A Dark Highway At 4:00 AM After Telling Officers He Has A 9MM Pistol Killed Man." This was a sad story for the student and the officers. Depression and drugs or alcohol don't mix. This story has received alot of press because of the UNC Chapel Hill/fraternity angle. If he wanted help he should have gone to the student counseling center instead of goiging the other route. What was the officer supposed to? Hide in the floor board of the police car?
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