Local News

Multiple gunshots killed Eve Carson

Posted June 30, 2008
Updated July 15, 2008

— The slain student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was shot five times, including once to her head with a shotgun, according to an autopsy report released on Monday.

The 14-page report details the multiple gunshot wounds it lists as Eve Carson's cause of death, saying she was shot with a shotgun to the right temple and also sustained a wound to her right hand – likely because she had raised her right arm to protect herself.

"These wounds most likely represent a single shot with the hand acting as an intermediate target," the report said.

Carson also had four other gunshot wounds to the right shoulder, right upper arm, right buttocks and right cheek.

Chapel Hill police found the 22-year-old Athens, Ga., native dead March 5 on a street several blocks from the UNC campus while responding to shots of gunfire.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's report of investigation said she was lying in the street, tilted on her left hip with her right arm bent behind her head.

She was wearing a light gray T-shirt, dark blue sweat pants and athletic shoes, as well as a yellow metal necklace with a yellow metal locket and a white paper wristband printed with "Be True" and "Nike," the report stated.

Dr. Michael Teague, a forensic psychologist and criminal profiler, says that the manner in which Carson was shot shows a "complete lack of regard for another person."

"I don't see any element from going through the autopsy that there was any concern for this victim," he said. "It's just like she was the repository for their anger, and how dare she say no to them, whatever she said no to them for."

Laurence Alvin Lovette Jr., 17, and Demario James Atwater, 22, are each charged with first-degree murder.

Although he would not elaborate, Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Monday that more charges could be filed against them on July 7. That is the next time the Orange County grand jury meets.

Search warrants released Friday suggest both suspects might have shot Carson; a confidential informant told investigators that Atwater told her Lovette shot Carson multiple times and that Atwater subsequently shot her.

Among the items authorities sought, according to the warrants, were a shotgun and a .25 caliber pistol. Although no weapons were seized in the execution of those warrants, detectives did take two shotgun shells from Atwater's home.

A Superior Court judge agreed to have the autopsy and six search warrants sealed after the district attorney raised concerns that the premature release of the documents could compromise the investigation.

Defense attorneys for both Atwater and Lovette objected to the documents' release, calling the information hearsay and saying it could taint a potential jury pool.

Woodall would not comment on the autopsy report in detail except to say it showed a handgun and a shotgun were used in the attack on Carson.

"It was the primary reason we asked that it be sealed" during the investigation, Woodall told The Associated Press, declining further comment.

Up next in the case is a hearing, scheduled for Monday, to determine whether Atwater will be tried on capital murder charges. Woodall will not say whether he will seek the death penalty against Atwater if he is tried and convicted.

Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Lovette cannot be tried on capital murder charges, because he was under the age of 18 at the time he allegedly committed the crime.

Lovette is also charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 18 shooting death of Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato, 29. An autopsy found that he had been shot once at point-blank range in the forehead.


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  • mondosinistro Jul 1, 2008

    TTTT now that we've seen the released info, bad as it is, it's frankly not as gruesome in some ways as I feared. Some people's wilder fantasies were surely disappointed. But a few special questions are still so puzzling. Biggest one may be: the 73 minutes from the 3:55 ATM time stamp to the 5:08 call to 911. ATM to Hillcrest, then the murder, then the neighbor's reaction--sounds like maybe 13 minutes. What about that missing hour? What was going on? They say no sexual assault. They collected evidence, so I assume they didn't comment because they found nothing? Same thing for drug use--not that I ever believed a word of that anyway. What about physical assault? Did the ME check for broken bones? Might bruises not have appeared because the murder was so soon after?

    Or maybe the ATM time stamp was just one hour off. I doubt it. But it's unexplained.

  • mondosinistro Jul 1, 2008

    WRT hate crimes, that's generally thought of as the targeting of someone because they belong to some group. You know I think hate was a likely motivation, but not in the usual sense--I don't think L&A hated her just because they saw her on TV. The Rumor Mill From Hell was running.

    Been trying to think of an alternative, how this might've happened due to Eve's house having one of the few lighted windows at 3 a.m., inviting attack. But for this to make sense I have to assume more than to figure this my original way. Would they have preferred a lighted residence, or the reverse? I'd like to know what room she might've been in. Was she up at the time? Was the lighted window facing the street? Was anyone else home at the time?

  • anonemoose Jul 1, 2008

    So, when will this be classified as a hate crime? To shoot somebody like this, you have to hate them for some reason.

    I bet if the roles were reversed, it would be a hate crime.

  • hkypky Jul 1, 2008

    Dr. Dataclerk: "... How sad."

    What in the world is so sad about it? And by the way, this has nothing .... nothing to do with letting Eve Carson go. None of us have a choice in the matter thanks to the accused. If I did, I would have "voted" differently.

    The majority here are simply trying to voice an opinion about what needs to happen such that you, me, or anyone else isn't the next Eve Carson.

    While there are no guarantees in life, I think we would all be better for not having to waste a second of our lives thinking about people who committ such heinous crimes as this.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 1, 2008

    I sure hope the late Eve Carson is resting in peace. Some people just will not let her go. How sad.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jul 1, 2008

    Those who quote the scripture by saying their just rewards will greet them in Hell, how about "an eye for an eye"?

    Please allow the God/Lord to be the judger. Neither of us is qualified to do so. While we are judging these young men, God/Lord will be judging you.

  • k557451 Jul 1, 2008

    Those who quote the scripture by saying their just rewards will greet them in Hell, how about "an eye for an eye"?

  • fourfivesix Jul 1, 2008

    oldschooltarheel, they were not late in publishing it. it was linked on the rights side underneath the picture as early as 9am yesterday morning. maybe you just didn't look hard enough...

  • Scubagirl Jul 1, 2008

    I believe a full toxicology panel is run, which tests for multiple drugs.
    I could be wrong but .....

  • Meandmytwo Jul 1, 2008

    Lovette should be charged just the same because he comitted an adult crime, now be charged as one. This law needs to change asp. It's a shame he will not to the capital charge.