What prompted it? Police, witnesses share two very different accounts of officer-involved shooting of St. Louis teen

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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.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

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.

25 comments

  • Ted

    Who cares what prompted it? We all know the solution is more guns.

    I mean, when isn’t that the solution to a problem?

  • Shelly Winters

    My heart goes out to this family. In 2014 black lives are still of no value. Blacks are guilty just because they are blacks. When will tge injustice end? If this gad been a white kid oh wait cops know better than to touch a white kid. Welcome to the USA: United States of Aryans!

    • MS DUBOIS

      Only idiots would say that black lives have no value.. or they say it for racist reasons.. With what you have said. .. blacks value is even less with other blacks.. checkout who kills other blacks.. it isn’t the police.. it’s other blacks who kill black children for no reason.. why WASN’T THERE PROTEST WHEN THAT 8 YEAR OLD WAS KILLED WHILE RIDING HER BIKE.. until you address those issues.. SHUT UP!

    • heather

      I’m sure you do. You, the MPD who molested those men of color and George Zimmerman are all alike. News flash: Just because a man is of color does not make him a criminal.

      If you are going to be weak minded and easily influenced then please limit your tv watching. People of color are not all ignorant, angry, bitter, ghetto, lazy or criminals. Media portrays them as such to please the majority and justify their crimes against these people.

      • Teri

        YOU sound racist. Your hate-filled speech is something your type preaches against isn’t it? More hypocritical vomit coming from someone who has appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner without waiting for little things called FACTS and PROOF. And if you don’t like it here in America (or as you say, AmeriKKKa) planes leave every day!

      • MS DUBOIS

        YOU ARE Attacking this person Why? Why don’t you attack all the black killing blacks.. you are a racist.

  • opinin8d

    @Shelly Winters and the rest of the like-minded people…..
    Please stop with the lies and look at the real problem. The police shootings and other incidents will stop when people learn to simply listen and comply. I have never heard of a police shooting or beat down for someone who simply listens and follows the instructions they are given. Sorry that certain people feel they don’t have to do that or respect that law, but every incident I see is not caused because of the police, but the failure of the person to simply cooperate. The only race component is that many in the black community of no respect for the policy – or their fellow man.

    I’m sure Rev Al and Jesse on already in STL to ‘comfort’ the family and ‘help’ them out. Next they’ll riot and burn down their own neighboorhoods and then blame the police…..those that are sympathetic to that way of life are part of the problem.

    • heather

      There was a white boy who was stopped by police recently. While talking to the cops he was very animated and belligerent, in tbe cops’ faces, etc. You know what the police did? Nothing. Had this been a boy of color, they would have shot him on sight. It is evident that you are part of the problem in AmeriKKKa. Get real.

      • MS DUBOIS

        Right Heather.. lets hear your made up story.. Why don’t you go after the blacks killing black children.. you are a racist..

    • Lenny

      Opinin8d, I agree 100% with you, if this young man had just gotten on the sidewalk and if Trayvon Martin just told Zimmerman he was just going home they both would still be alive. The thug mentality has permeated so deep in the black community, it is considered the norm among many black and white youth. The problem begins in the home and if these young people are not taught how to respect, they will not give it. It is the break down of the family that is the root cause of this….

  • Syrus

    Man this is just a distraction to divide and conquer. Blacks are killed every day by other blacks, statistically blacks kill more blacks then whites in the country. Whites are killed more then they are killed, but don’t take my word for it, go check out the FBI stats on crime. I keep hearing about how this would never happen to a white guy, you must not watch what goes on, I agree police are getting out of line and shooting someone as they run is never justified, no matter how pissed or enraged you are. Did you know that a black officer shot and killed an unarmed white man named James Whitehead while he was off duty and wasn’t charged? I keep hearing about Zimmerman(who isnt white) but what about Chris Lane who was obviously gunned down for his color. So now people are looting businesses of owners who had nothing to do with the killing, whats that all about, is this a type of retribution for the slaying or theifs taking advantage of an opportunity. Why does no one try to stop them from looting? There are never riots when a cop of any color shoots a white man. I’m a white male and I have had terrible luck my life with police, I’ve been assaulted after I went submissive on Spring Break on more then one occasion, and all I was doing was drinking, don’t think that cops won’t take down a white person that is minding his own business, they do every day. So happy I now live out in the middle of nowhere away from everyone. My condolences go out to the family, no one should have to bury their child.

  • Yvonne McDaniel

    I want to make a comment in behalf of the family . My prayers go out to you and I know that God will see you through in these trying times. I want to make a comment regards to the policeman’s actions. . Know one has the right to shot an unarmed person down eight times and then say they are upholding the law. People have a right to walk down the street in peace and not be harassed and made to feel like they are an animal or a dog . I believe that we live in a democratic society and it is not a dicatorship. So please for all the people that are making comments about they believe what the police said and did, No one is right about every decision they make or choice they make. If it was your child how would you feel . We are suppose to be equal and we are all the same and we all bleed the same. Last and for most we will all die but make sure you treat every one with respect and dignity no matter who theyare or where they come from. .

  • Russell

    Policeman ORDERED them to the sidewalk, they didn’t budge.. Policeman in his frenzy accidently fires shot in Floor of Patrol car.. Policeman JUMPS out Boys run … Policeman Fires second shot. Michael Brown stops running and puts hands in air.. None of the first 3 steps are in ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT MANUAL. This Law enforcement officer NEEDS retraining or he himself is a HOT HEAD and OUT of control Ferguson police won’t release his name because he probably has PRIORS… Or they know his home/ family would need to be in Witness Protection. The story the officer gives is suspect. No one challenges police officer and pushes him back in a patrol car. My 4 year old can make up a better story then that. More then likely if the Feds get involved this officer will resign. Watch. .

  • Chris

    This makes no sense – according to witnesses, the cop told them to lay down on the sidewalk. There is NO WAY anyone should do anything BUT that… someone matching the description should have just killed someone, had a gun, etc. Cop pulled me over a block from my house when I was leaving the neighborhood at 2am a few weeks back – said a truck matching the description of mine was involved in something (don’t know what). I told the cop I was just go to the store, showed him my license while he looked in the truck bed (had he told me to get out to look in the truck, it would be no problem), and two minutes later I was on my way.

  • Joe

    A wise person would wait for the results of the medical examiners report. As with all matters that end in a departmental shooting the police department is going to remain silent until they have time to debrief the officer and any witnesses. Irrational commentary will only serve to further muddy the waters, and incite further violence. More young men and women will be injured and/or arrested and the true issue here will be buried beneath the ever rising pile of bad media.

  • ideots

    It happened get over it go to work that’s why you are the way it it right now look at the way you live you shouldn’t get food stamps and money from the state your just going to disred yourself even more what’s the hell that going to do just ya all mind your own bissens but you all have big mouths

  • Melissa

    70% of the population in Ferguson is black. How many of those are receiving welfare, EBT cards, food stamps, and free housing. To riot all night, they must not have jobs. What a poor excuse for a community. Pull out the TV cameras, the news coverage, and the police from Ferguson, and let them live in the mess they have made for each other. Help the store owners relocate to a safer area. America is tired of the “give me, give me” attitude of the black race.

  • Vee

    It saddens me to know that only the date has changed in this crazy, racist world. ALL you whites on this post with no compassion for this situation are racists. Plain and simple. Regardless of the color of Michael Brown’s skin, he was a human being. Committing a crime does not mean to shoot to kill. He should be out on bail right now and NOT in a mortuary. Whites condemn and criticize blacks but ignorance, poverty, laziness, drug use, etc. comes in ALL colors NOT just black. It’s funny what people write on the net they would NEVER say to your face. COWARDS!

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