Michael Brown rushed officer before he was shot, report says


FERGUSON, Missouri (CNN) – The Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who killed Michael Brown says the teenager rushed at him full speed in the moments before the shooting, according to an account phoned into a St. Louis radio station and confirmed as accurate by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.

Read more from Ferguson from our sister station Fox2Now.

According to the account on KTFK, phoned in by a woman who identified herself as “Josie,” the altercation began after Officer Darren Wilson rolled down his window to tell Brown and a friend to stop walking in the street.

Unidentified police officers gather prior to enforcement of a midnight curfew in Ferguson Sunday night.

Unidentified police officers gather prior to enforcement of a midnight curfew in Ferguson Sunday night.

When Wilson tried to get out of his cruiser, Brown first tried to push the officer back into the car, then punched him in the face and grabbed for his gun before breaking free after the gun went off once.

Wilson pursued Brown and his friend, ordering them to freeze, according to account. When they turned around, Brown began taunting Wilson, saying he would not arrest them, then ran at the officer at full speed, according to the caller.

Wilson then began shooting. The final shot was to Brown’s forehead, and the teenager fell two or three feet in front of Wilson, the caller said.

The account matches Wilson’s telling of events to investigators, according to the source.

If true, the account represents the first telling of events from the perspective of Wilson, whose shooting of Brown has touched off nightly protests and violence in the suburban St. Louis city.

Earlier Monday, an autopsy conducted for the family of Brown found no evidence that he struggled with Wilson before his death, the pathologist in charge of the examination said Monday.

Dr. Michael Baden said no signs of a struggle were revealed in his autopsy of Brown’s body, conducted after an official examination by the St. Louis County medical examiner’s office.

And forensics consultant Shawn Parcells, who assisted Baden, said the findings are consistent with witness reports that Brown may have been shot as he walked away and that he was shot again with his hands up.

Brown family attorney Daryl Parks said he was particularly concerned about gunshots that medical examiners hired by the family indicate came from behind and above.

“Why would he be shot in the very top of his head, a 6-foot-4 man?” Parks asked. “Makes no sense.”

The autopsy results are the latest development in the investigation into Brown’s death, which has resulted in nightly, sometimes violent, protests in Ferguson that have prompted Missouri’s governor to declare a curfew and send in the state National Guard.

“Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard … in restoring peace and order to this community,” Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement.

The protests have also gained international attention. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement Monday on the events in Ferguson, saying that he “hopes local and federal investigations will shed full light on the killing” of Brown. Ban called on authorities to ensure that people are able to assemble peacefully and urged law enforcement to abide by U.S. and “international standards in dealing with demonstrations.”

Gunfire, tear gas and Molotov cocktails Sunday night marked some of the fiercest clashes yet between police and protesters furious about the death of the unarmed teenager.

Autopsy findings

The family autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times, including two shots to his head. Three of the bullets may have re-entered his body, causing additional damage, Baden said.

One wound to his arm was consistent with a witness statement that Brown was walking away and appeared to jerk, as if shot, Parcells said. The wounds to his arm could have also have occurred while he had his hands up, possibly in a defensive posture, Parcells said.

One of the bullets entered the back of his head and came out through his eye; another — likely the fatal wound, Baden said — struck Brown on the top of his head and caused irreparable damage to his brain.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump said Brown probably would have been either kneeling or bending forward when he was struck with those bullets.

Brown had abrasions on his face consistent with falling onto the ground, Baden said.

He cautioned that he needs access to autopsy results, including tests on Brown’s clothes and X-rays, before making some conclusions.

But Crump said what it already revealed offered more than “ample” evidence to support Wilson’s arrest.

“What does this autopsy say? That the witness accounts were true, that he was shot multiple times,” Crump told reporters.

Devolution of protests

Another family attorney, Anthony Gray, implored protesters to remain peaceful.

“I can see that there is a very disturbing divide that is developing in our community,” he said Monday. “This is not what we initially came to the community and called for.”

As he spoke, the Missouri National Guard was preparing to deploy to Ferguson under orders from the governor to restore peace.

Nixon issued the order early Monday after what began as peaceful protests spiraled into disarray after two civilians were shot and injured, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said. He said those civilians were not shot by police.

“Tonight, a Sunday that started with prayers and messages of unity, peace and justice took a very different turn after dark,” Johnson said early Monday.

Some protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at police, and several businesses were vandalized or looted despite the Brown family’s call for calm.

“Based on these conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of our response,” Johnson said.

Officers fired tear gas into hundreds of protesters, including children, who were marching toward a police command post despite an impending midnight curfew.

Protester Lisha Williams challenged the notion that protesters provoked officers.

“That is a lie. It was no fight, it was no shots fired,” she told CNN late Sunday. “All we did was march to the command center to fall to our knees and say, ‘Don’t shoot.’ And they started shooting.”

The clashes kept escalating, with St. Charles County sheriff’s officials saying shots were fired in their direction.

At one point, employees at a McDonald’s restaurant locked themselves in a storage room after the store was overrun, Johnson said.

Video from CNN affiliate KSDK-TV showed children among the protesters chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

St. Louis County police said most of the crowds had dispersed after the curfew went into effect at midnight. The curfew ended at 5 a.m. (6 a.m. ET).

But the anxiety remains. Children can’t even go to school Monday.

“Information we received from officials on the scene late Sunday evening has contributed to concerns we have about children walking to school or waiting for buses on streets impacted by this activity,” the Ferguson-Florissant School District said on its Facebook page.

Dueling narratives

Accounts of exactly what happened when Wilson stopped Brown while the teen was walking down a street vary widely.

Witnesses said they saw a scuffle between the officer and Brown at the police car before the young man was shot.

Several witnesses said Brown raised his hands and was not attacking the officer.

Piaget Crenshaw said she was sitting in her home when she witnessed the shooting. She captured video of the aftermath, including images of Brown’s body lying in the middle of the street.

“From it all initially happening, I knew this was not right,” she told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.

“I knew the police shouldn’t even have been chasing this young boy and firing at the same time. The fact that he got shot in the face, it was something that clicked in me, like no, somebody else needs to see this. This isn’t right. I’ve got to record.”

Crenshaw said Brown was running away from police and then turned around. She said that was when Brown was shot.

But police gave a different narrative, saying Brown struggled with the officer and reached for his weapon.

The officer has stayed out of the public spotlight, and more than 22,000 people have endorsed the “I Support Officer Wilson” Facebook page.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has approved another autopsy on Brown’s body, the Justice Department said. That autopsy will be conducted by a federal medical examiner.

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8 comments

  • FenceOffFergusonAndLetThemHaveIt

    This isn’t gonna be popular but what’s the big loss here people? This “poor teenage boy” was a grown man, old enough to vote and old enough to fight for his country. Conflicting reports state he was 6’2″ – 6’4″ and around 300#’s…very close to the average NFL players size.
    By the way, thanks for your input Mr Baden but I’ll side with the OFFICIAL autopsy results and not those from someone the family has hired. Oh, and thanks also to Eric Holder for having the federal government step in…I have a feeling that no matter who does the autopsy or what the results turn out to be the family and those in Ferguson will only hear what they want to hear, that “poor teenage boy” was “gunned down, for no reason, while running away, while surrendering with hands in the air, minding his own business after strong-arming some Swisher’s…No matter the outcome, this “tragedy” isn’t all that tragic.

  • Walter

    Dr. Baden released his autopsy to Times first. He states that all shots came from the front. There was not a single injury on his back. He also said he’s not sure until he investigates other factors. This had to be the most inaccurate article I’ve read in my life. Everyone go look up the real story on Times. Also, they proves 3 witnesses already lied. Johnson claim the officer tried to grab mike by the neck and pull him in like tug o war. Autopsy shows no marks on his neck. 2 strikes for him already.

  • jgaines

    Here is the audio recording of the shooting. Take a second to be objective. The officer’s story doesn’t make sense.

  • Milo Garage

    I’ve had a lot of cops say “Keep your hands where I can see them” or “Get down on the ground and do it now!”,
    or “put your hands on your head, interlock your fingers and walk backward toward my voice” But never put your hands up…never

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