One of the teenagers arrested in the “Jena Six” case has been hospitalized after shooting himself in the chest, reports the Associated Press.


       Mychal Bell, one of six black teens charged with beating a white classmate at Jena High School in December 2006, wounded himself around 7:40 p.m. in Monroe, La, where he has been staying with a foster family. The wound is not life-threatening, according to Sgt. Cassandra Wooten.       

       Wooten believes Bell was upset over media coverage of his Christmas Eve arrest on multiple charges, including shoplifting, resisting arrest and simple battery, related to an incident at Dillard’s in Pecanland Mall.


       Police said Bell and an unidentified male were spotted Wednesday by store security after they placed $370 worth of merchandise in a Dillard’s shopping bag. After the two separated, Bell left the store, was followed by a security officer, and began running through the parking lot.


       Police said Bell was discovered under a vehicle in the Sears parking lot. Lt. Jeff Harris said Bell began “swinging his arms wildly” and delivered a glancing blow to the security officer with his elbow.


       Bell was booked into Richwood Correctional Center and released on $1,300 bond. He will be arraigned at a later date. Each of the charges carries a possible penalty of up to six months in jail.


       His arrest came less than one month after he completed a sentence for his role in the beating of a fellow classmate, Justin Barker, at Jena High School in 2006. The so-called “Jena Six” case aggravated racial tensions in the central Louisiana town and led to a massive civil rights demonstration. Bell pleaded guilty in juvenile court to a charge of second-degree battery.

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