Autopsy Says Accident Victim Shot; Bullet Holes Found In Car Door

An autopsy says the driver of a vehicle found wrecked and riddled with bullet holes was shot.

Deputies and troopers in Onslow County are working side by side to find out what exactly happened to Watson Chentlen in Onslow County late last night.

Deputies say the 20-year-old man lived in a mobile home park on Highway 53, less than a mile from the accident scene.

Sheriff Ed Brown said the fatal wreck happened near the intersection of Blue Creek School Road around 11:30 p.m.

At an afternoon news conference, Brown says six bullet holes were found in the car, with four going through the driver's door and one cracking the driver's window. That bullet hit Chentlen in the left side of the chest.

The sheriff says a handgun was found in the vehicle.

The vehicle was totaled after it veered off the road and hit a brick column, then two trees. Deputies said Chentlen was the only person in the car.

Brown says they still don't know if the man died from the gunfire or the accident. He says they have developed several suspects in the case and is confident arrests will be made.

Records show the man had several pending drug charges in Onslow County, including manufacturing cocaine, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling for control substances, and possession of cocaine.

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Onslow County dispatchers said they got the first call of a wreck around 12:30AM on Thursday.

Dispatchers verified there was a traffic accident along Highway 53 in Onslow County near Blue Creek School Road.

The Highway Patrol said that case was being handled by the Onslow County Sheriff's Office.

No word yet from the sheriff's office on what happened.

Stay with WITN as we continue to update this story.