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Michael Brown was shot 6 times by Ferguson officer, preliminary autopsy shows

By Frances Robles and Julie Bosman  | NEW YORK TIMES   AUGUST 18, 2014

Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a police officer has brought national attention to the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo.

Michael Brown’s shooting death at the hands of a police officer has brought national attention to the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo.

FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed Sunday found.

One of the bullets entered the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunshot powder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Brown’s clothing, to which Baden did not have access.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Sunday that the Justice Department would conduct its own autopsy, in addition to the one performed by local officials and this private one because, a department spokesman said, of “the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.”

The preliminary autopsy results are the first time that some of the critical information resulting in Brown’s death has been made public. Thousands of protesters demanding information and justice for what was widely viewed as a reckless shooting took to the streets here in rallies that ranged from peaceful to violent.

Brown died last week in a confrontation with a police officer in this suburb of St. Louis. The police department has come under harsh criticism for refusing to clarify the circumstances of the shooting and for responding to protests with military-style operational gear.
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