ST. LOUIS (WITI/CNN) — Witnesses and police are sharing two very different accounts of what happened on Saturday, August 9th — when a St. Louis police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old, unarmed man.
It happened in the street — near an apartment complex on Saturday afternoon.
The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown has prompted protests.
There’s one thing both witnesses and police agree upon — according to FOX6’s sister station, FOX2 in St. Louis: A six-year veteran officer of the Ferguson Police Department fired multiple shots at Brown.
So what prompted the shooting?
FOX2 reports on Sunday morning, August 10th, the St. Louis County Police Chief said around noon on Saturday, a Ferguson police officer encountered two teenagers in the street.
The police chief said as the officer exited his squad car, one of the teens allegedly shoved him back into his squad, and assaulted him.
CNN is reporting Brown is the one who allegedly pushed the officer back into his squad car.
“The genesis of this was a physical confrontation,” Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, said at a Sunday news conference.
FOX2 reports the police chief said there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon, and at least one shot was fired inside the car — but it didn’t hit anyone.
That’s when the police chief says the officer fired at the teens as they ran away.
One of the teens was shot multiple times — and died at the scene.
CNN reports the St. Louis County Police Chief says Brown was shot when he was about 35 feet from the squad car.
The police chief’s account is in stark contrast to the account of witnesses — who say Brown did nothing to instigate the shooting and appeared to be surrendering when he was killed.
Witnesses say Michael Brown was walking in the middle of the street with a friend when the officer drove up and ordered them to the sidewalk.
FOX2 reports Brown’s friend told the officer they were just minutes from their destination — and they would soon be out of the street.
After a verbal confrontation, FOX2 reports one witness says the officer got out of his squad car and fired a shot.
Both teens ran, this witness says, and a second shot was fired.
Brown’s friend hid behind a car — but he says Brown stopped after the second shot was fired — holding his hands in the air to show he was unarmed.
That’s when Brown’s friend and at least one witness say the officer fired at Brown two more times.
Brown then collapsed and died in the street.
All shell casings collected at the scene were from the officer’s weapon — according to the St. Louis County police chief.
The police chief said a medical examiner will issue a ruling regarding how many times Brown was shot — but the police chief said “it was more than just a couple (times).”
“My son just turned 18 and graduated high school and he didn’t bother nobody,” the young man’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, told a CNN affiliate.
McSpadden was told her son was shot eight times, though witnesses had varying accounts of how many shots were fired. Brown was supposed to start classes at Vatterott College on Monday, she said.
McSpadden had pointed words for the officer who shot her son.
“You’re not God. You don’t decide when you’re going to take somebody from here,” McSpadden said.
Brown was spending the summer in the neighborhood with his grandmother, Desuirea Harris. She described him as “a good kid.”
Hundreds of demonstrators — as many as 1,000 at the height of the protests, according to police — converged on the scene Saturday.
Demonstrators held their hands in the air and chanted, “We are Michael Brown.” Others held signs, including one that said, “No justice, no peace” and another that read, “Police stops should not = dead kids.” There were reports that some protesters yelled, “Kill the police.”
Demonstrators at one point set a dumpster on fire, according to a CNN affiliate, and the Ferguson Police Chief said: “It did get a little tense when, twice, several shots were fired.”
Scores of police officers lined the street. One of them held the leash of a barking dog, and French said some officers wielded shotguns. One image showed a riot van on the scene.
The Ferguson Police Department called more than 100 officers from 15 jurisdictions to secure the scene.
“We had what probably bordered on riot conditions,” the Ferguson Police Chief said, explaining that it took hours to process the scene, collect evidence and move Brown’s body.
Later, according to media reports, about 100 people took their protest to the Police Department in Ferguson, a northern suburb that’s about a 20-minute drive from St. Louis. Officers were deployed to ensure the demonstrations were peaceful.
Protesters were back on Sunday, when the police chief held his news conference.
The officer who shot Brown has been placed on administrative leave. He will be talking with investigators — and will be required to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty.
The St. Louis County Crimes Against Persons Unit has taken over the investigation at the request of the Ferguson Police Chief.
CLICK HERE for much more on this story via FOX6’s sister station, FOX2 in St. Louis.
CLICK HERE to access CNN’s coverage of this story.