police car
A representational image of police cars at a music bar where a gunman opened fire in Los Angeles, Nov. 7, 2018. JAVIER TOVAR/AFP/Getty Images

A woman from Virginia shot herself in the mouth while her hands were cuffed behind her back during a traffic stop, according to police.

Sarah Wilson, 19, and her boyfriend, Holden Medlin, 27, were arrested in July during a traffic stop in Chesapeake, Virginia, after drugs were found in the car the couple was driving in. At the time of arrest, Medlin was driving and Wilson was sitting in the passenger seat. Police handcuffed Wilson and while they tried to handcuff Medlin, he became violent and ran away. However, the police used a Taser on him and then arrested him. While the officers were busy catching Medlin, Wilson was reportedly left unattended with her hands cuffed behind her back.

Police claimed Wilson managed to grab a weapon out of the couple's car, “contorted” her body and shot herself through the mouth. Police tried to revive her but were unable to do so. They said the weapon she used was not a police weapon but they had no clue if it belonged to her or Medlin, or how exactly she got hold of it.

An internal investigation into the incident of her death was concluded last week and the department refused to comment on its findings. According to a medical examiner, Wilson died from an “intra-oral gunshot wound.” Though the medical examiner confirmed Wilson died of suicide, her friends and family were skeptical about the official account of her death.

Wilson’s mother, Dawn, spoke to the media after her death and said several witnesses told her it was the police who were responsible for Wilson’s death. “There is a few different stories, but they all end the same: that the police shot her. Things are not matching up. Somewhere, somehow, there is a discrepancy,” she said. She also said she wasn’t aware of her daughter ever having owned or used a gun in her life, and that her daughter was a “moody teenager who did not have depression.”

When Wilson and Medlin were arrested, one of the officers involved had been wearing a body camera but it was knocked off the officer’s uniform during the struggle with Medlin, according to the police department. The camera was switched back on after the struggle but the police have declined to share the camera footage with internal investigators and the media.

Chesapeake police spokesperson Leo Kosinski confirmed Wilson had her hands cuffed behind her back and when she was left unattended, she grabbed the gun and shot herself. “If you have anything motivating you and you’re limber enough, you can wiggle,” he said, seemingly by way of explanation.

One of Wilson’s friends shared a video of the incident that was recorded by a bystander at the scene of the stop. The video shows a woman’s body next to a white car and has police surrounding the area. The video also has one person saying, “Police shot the b----.” Though the authenticity of the video was not verified, Kosinski said the man who shot the video reached the scene “well after the incident” and that he saw nothing of the actual incident.

Medlin had been under police monitoring for a while before his arrest. When the car was searched, police found 11 oxycodone pills, a syringe and other paraphernalia, a rifle and some ammunition. He was charged with the possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm, among other charges.