The preliminary results of a private autopsy showed that Michael Brown, the black teen killed by a police officer in the city of Ferguson, St. Louis County, Missouri, was shot at least six times, the New York Times reported on Sunday night.
Brown, 18, was shot twice in the head, while four shots hit his right arm, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, former chief medical examiner for the City of New York who was hired by the Brown family to conduct the autopsy.
One of the bullets entered the top of the teenager’s skull and appears to have caused a fatal injury, according to Baden, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family's behest. It was likely the last of bullets to hit Michael Brown, he said.
The report showed the bullets did not appear to have been fired from very close range due to the absence of gun powder on the victim’s body, the Times reported. However, that finding could change if traces of gunpowder are found on Brown’s clothing.
More importantly, perhaps, is that all of the shots, according to the private autopsy, were fired from in front of the victim. This contradicts at least one witness statement that claimed Brown was shot as he attempted to run away from police.
Michael Brown's autopsy report indicates he was shot at least six times. pic.twitter.com/SMJGvavDUR— Complex (@ComplexMag) August 18, 2014
Although Baden, one of only about 400 board-certified forensic pathologists in the country, said his autopsy was not intended to conclude if the shooting was justified, he did suggest that the authorities could have handled the situation in a better way.
“People have been asking, ‘How many times was he shot?’ This information could have been released on Day 1,” Baden told NYT.
A spokesman for the Ferguson police said the department had not seen the autopsy report and therefore had no comment on it.
Meanwhile, US Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a separate federal autopsy to be performed on the 18-year-old.
"This independent examination will take place as soon as possible,'' Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said in written statement. “Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their separate investigation.''
In addition to the federal autopsy, the DOJ is looking into possible civil rights violations amid what protesters call a “breakdown of trust” between the local community and the authorities. Under this cloud of suspicion, dozens of FBI agents are reportedly investigating the incident and interviewing witnesses.
The killing of unarmed Ferguson teenager, who was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson, has attracted thousands of protesters to the streets of Ferguson for days, including the past two nights despite a curfew.
On Sunday evening, a confrontation between a police officer and a member of the media was caught on tape where the officer allegedly pointed a gun at the reporter, telling him to “Get the f**k out of here.”
When the reporter demands the name of the police officer from his superior, who identified himself as “Captain Todd,” he is denied the information.