A federal autopsy performed on Michael Brown at the request of the Justice Department confirmed details revealed by previous autopsies that the 18-year-old’s death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds to the head and chest, documents released Monday evening show. The latest autopsy also revealed details of gunshot wounds to the hand, indicating a struggle.
The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's autopsy on Brown showed that gunshot wounds on the black teen’s right hand and "microscopic examinations" showed a "strong likelihood of the presence of soot," which was evidence of a close-range discharge of a firearm. Previous autopsies -- one performed by local officials and the other by a private examiner hired by Brown’s family -- had also reached similar conclusions.
"The gunshot wounds of the right chest may represent re-entry wounds from the exiting gunshot wounds to the right arm and/or the right forehead," the report says.
Darren Wilson, the white officer who fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri, had told the grand jury investigating the case that the two had a scuffle through the open window of his police vehicle moments before Brown was shot. The latest autopsy report is also consistent with Wilson’s account that the struggle resulted in the officer discharging his firearm.
Wilson had also testified that he feared for his life during the encounter and was pinned down in his police car during the struggle for his gun. But, other witnesses had said that Brown was shot as he held his hands in surrender.
"The postmortem toxicology screen is positive for cannabinoids. The manner of death is homicide,” the autopsy report revealed.
Other documents that were released Monday included transcripts of eight federal interviews of possible witnesses, police radio traffic and an alleged audio clip of the shots fired by Wilson.
Brown’s blood was found on the gun, on the interior door panel of the car and on Wilson’s uniform, a finding also consistent with the forensic report released earlier. Other details also revealed that Wilson's firearm was cleaned of blood before ballistics tests were conducted, CBS News reported.
The Associated Press reported that it had reviewed all the documents released by the grand jury but none of them included the details of a two-hour FBI interview with Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend who was with him at the time of the shooting.
The shooting death of Brown, triggered days of unrest in the St. Louis suburb, which later spread across the Unites States and abroad, after a grand jury decision not to indict Wilson.
Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department in late November amid protests across the country over the use of excessive force by police.