(NNPA) - Mychal Bell, a teen convicted in the "Jena Six" beating case shot himself in the chest with a .22 caliber firearm and was taken to a hospital in Monroe, La., on Dec. 29, according to the police.
Monroe Police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten told the Associated Press that the wound was not life-threatening.
The reported shooting took place days after Bell's arrest Dec. 24 for shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple assault.
Wooten said she believed Bell was "upset over the [shoplifting] incident…and didn't want to be in the news again," she told AP.
Bell was one of a group of Black teenagers who once faced attempted murder charges in the 2006 beating of a White classmate at Jena High School.
The charges against all of the defendants were reduced after widespread national criticism and a 20,000-person march on the tiny central Louisiana town, the largest civil rights march in decades.
Bell eventually pleaded to a juvenile charge of second-degree battery and has been living in a foster home in Monroe and attending school.
One of Bell's attorneys in the assault case didn't immediately return a call seeking comment on the recent shoplifting case.
By James Wright special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers