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.