Accessibility links

Breaking News

Grand Jury Documents Detail Officer's Account of Michael Brown Shooting


FILE - Ray Mills, left, and Londrelle Hall pause before a memorial for Michael Brown on a street in Ferguson, Mo.
FILE - Ray Mills, left, and Londrelle Hall pause before a memorial for Michael Brown on a street in Ferguson, Mo.

The police officer who shot dead an unarmed teenager in the Midwestern U.S. state of Missouri told investigators that the two struggled over his weapon before any shots were fired, and that he thought the teen planned to shoot him.

Darren Wilson's statement is part of more than 1,000 pages of grand jury documents that prosecutors released late Monday after announcing they would not file any charges against the officer.

He spoke to investigators on August 10, a day after shooting Michael Brown in an incident that began with him telling Brown and another person to use a sidewalk instead of walking down the middle of the street.

'Started swinging'

Wilson said Brown approached his police vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, leaned against the door and "then starting swinging and punching" at him. He said he grabbed one of Brown's arms, but Brown punched him in the face with his free hand.

Wilson told investigators that he considered several responses, included using mace or a flashlight, but that he did not think they'd be effective in such close quarters.

Instead, Wilson drew his gun, said, "Stop, I'm going to shoot you," and ordered Brown to get on the ground.

Wilson said Brown responded with an expletive, then grabbed the end of the gun and twisted it and "digs it into my hip." The officer told investigators: "At that point, I was guaranteed he was going to shoot me. That's what I thought his goal was."

Wilson said he managed to push the gun away and fire toward Brown, who was initially shocked but then attempted to hit Wilson again. There was another shot, and Brown ran away from the car.

DNA tests, included in the grand jury documents, cited Brown's DNA on the outside of one of the car's doors, on a door handle inside the car and on Wilson's pants.

'Intense, aggressive face'

Wilson said he followed after Brown and yelled at him to stop and get on the ground. That is when the officer said Brown ran toward him with his hand in his waistband and "the most intense, aggressive face."

Brown's companion that day, Dorian Johnson, insisted in his grand jury testimony that Brown did not run toward the officer.

Wilson said he fired multiple shots and yelled again for Brown to stop, but when he kept coming, Wilson fired again.

It was when Brown got to within 2 to 3 meters of Wilson that the officer said he fired a final set of shots, including one that hit Brown in the head and sent him falling to the pavement. His body lay about 153 feet from Wilson's vehicle.

The documents include two separate autopsy reports, which said Brown was shot at least six times.

  • 16x9 Image

    VOA News

    The Voice of America provides news and information in more than 40 languages to an estimated weekly audience of over 326 million people. Stories with the VOA News byline are the work of multiple VOA journalists and may contain information from wire service reports.