The testimony of several black witnesses to a Missouri grand jury has “largely supported” the account of officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The news comes amid the release of a full autopsy report of Brown’s body which appeared to support claims that Brown was the aggressor.
At least seven witnesses gave testimony before a grand jury, which is deciding whether Wilson should be charged over Brown's shooting, that was consistent with the officer's account of events, The Post reported, citing sources. The sources also reportedly said that evidence, including ballistics tests and blood spatter analysis, also support Wilson’s account.
The shooting death of Brown triggered protests in the St. Louis suburb and beyond, the policing of which attracted widespread condemnation for their heavy-handed tactics and use of military-style equipment.
Late Tuesday night, an analysis of Brown’s official autopsy report was published by The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The autopsy's findings appear to be consistent with Wilson’s testimony that Brown was the aggressor. The autopsy showed that in addition to the three shots to the head, Brown was shot three times on his right arm, twice in the chest and once at close range in the hand.
Witness interviews, the autopsy report and physical evidence from the crime scene suggested that Wilson and Brown fought for control of the weapon near the officer’s vehicle before Brown was fatally shot.
The autopsy also reportedly found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb.
It “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound,” The Post reported, citing Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco who reviewed the report for the Post-Dispatch.
The grand jury, which began hearing evidence in mid-August, is expected to finish its review of the case next month. The St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI are currently investigating the case.