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Documents describe Ferguson officer's version of fatal shooting

Documents released Monday by the St. Louis county prosecutor's office shed light on the version of events that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson gave of the fatal shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown.

On Monday, a grand jury declined to bring criminal charges against Wilson in the Aug. 9, 2014 shooting death of Brown, 18.

On Aug. 10, 2014, Wilson, with his attorney present, had a conversation with a police detective about the shooting. He describes an altercation with a young man who swore at him and fought with him in the police car.

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An image of Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson at hospital where he was treated for injuries following Aug. 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown.
St. Louis prosecutor's office

The files released by the prosecutor's office also include pictures taken of Wilson after was treated at Christian Northwest Hospital in St. Louis. The pictures appear to show some bruising and contusions from the struggle that Wilson said he had with Brown, after confronting him on a Ferguson street shortly after noon on Aug. 9.

Wilson told the police detective that he had been a police officer for five years, the last three with the Ferguson police department. His shift that day was from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. He had just left a call involving a sick person when he heard on the radio that there was a theft in progress at the Ferguson Market.

Wilson said he heard a description of a black male in a black t-shirt. Soon after he observed two black males walking in the center of the street.

"I pulled up to 'em, stopped with them about at my hood as they kept walking towards me. I told 'em, 'Hey guys, why don't you walk on the sidewalk.' The first one said, um, 'we're almost to our destination' and pointed this direction. So I guess that's northeast."

"I said, 'Okay, but what's wrong with the sidewalk?' And then that was as they were passing my window the second subject said, 'f**k what you have to say...' And then after that I put the vehicle in reverse, backed up about ten feet to 'em, attempted to open my door. Prior to backing up I did call out on the radio. I said 'Frank 21, out with two, send me another car.' "

"Um, I back up ten feet. I go to open my door, say 'Hey, come here.' He said 'What the f**k are you gonna do?' And he shut my door or me. ... the door was only open maybe. I didn't have chance to get my leg out. I shut the door and he came up and approached the door. I opened the door again trying to push him back tell him to get back. Um, he said something. I'm not sure exactly what it was and then started swinging and punching at me from outside the vehicle."

Wilson told the police detective that he was sitting in the driver's seat, with the door shut.

"It's shut. He has his body against the door preventing me from opening it. ... Body against it. ... His hands were inside on me. ... And he entered my vehicle with his hands, arms, and his head...assaulting me."

"The first time he had struck me somewhere in this area but it was like glancing blow 'cause I was able to defend a little bit. Um, after that he, I was doing the, just scramblin' tryin' to get his arms out of my face and him from grabbin' me and everything else. He turned to his...if he's at my vehicle, he turned to his left and handed the first subject. He said, 'Here take there.' He was holding a pack of several packs of cigarillos which was just, what was stolen from the Market Store, was several packs of cigarillos. He said 'Here hold there' and when he did that I grabbed his right arm tryin' just to control something at that point."

"Um, as I was holdin' it, and he came around he came around with his arm extended, first made, and went like that straight at my face with his...a full swing with his left hand."

"It was closed. It was in a fist. ... He hit me with this part of his hand, just like this across my cheek."

"It kinda jarred me back and I yelled at him numerous times to stop and get back. I believe somewhere in there I put my hand up tryin' to just get him away from me and there I was, I was already trapped and didn't know what he was gonna do to me, but I knew it wasn't gonna be good. Had me, I physic...or mentally started thinking what do I do next? Um, I started off with my mace ... couldn't reach it with my right hand. I was using his hand to block and all that."

"I was just trying to keep him off me and get him back. Um, I tried to go for my mace, I couldn't reach around my body to grab it and I know how mace affects me so if I used that in that close proximity I was gonna be disabled per se. And I didn't know if it was even gonna work on him if I would be able to get a clear shot or anything else. ... I don't carry a taser so that option was gone... Next I go to my asp. I couldn't get on it. ... I drew my firearm, I pointed it at him... "Stop I'm going to shoot you is what I ordered him to get on the ground." He said "You're too much of a f**kin' p***y to shoot me" and grabbed my gun. When he grabbed my gun, he twisted it, pointed at me and into my hip, my pelvic area."

"He had me completely overpowered while I was sittin' in the car."

"...took my left hand, placed it against his, and my hand on the side of my firearm and pushed forward both my arms ... I saw that it was somewhat lined up with his silhouette and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. Pulled it again, nothing happened. Um, I believe his fingers were over in between from the hammer and the slide preventing it from firing.

"I tried again. It fired. ... He looked like he was shocked initially but, and he paused for a second and then he came back into my vehicle and attempted to hit me multiple times. ... and ducked in again his whole bod...whole top half of his body came in and tried to hit me again."

"I brought it up and shot again. When I shot that time... I realized I had missed ... and he was running eastbound on Canfield... I exited my vehicle and I said, I got on my radio and said 'Shots fired.' Send me more cars."

"I followed him in that direction. ... I was yelling at him to stop and get on the ground. He kept running and then eventually he stopped in this area somewhere. When he stopped, he turned, looked at me, made like a grunting noise and had the most intense aggressive face I've ever seen on a person. ... And then he started running at me. During his first stride, he took his right hand put it under his shirt and into his waistband. And I orderd him to stop and get on the ground again. He didn't. I fired a, multiple shots. ... paused for a second... yelled at him to ge ton the ground again. Still charging hands still in his waistband hadn't slowed down. I fired another set of shots. Same thing, still running at me... He gets about eight or ten feet away... I fired more shots. One of those ... hit him on the head and he went down right there. When he went down his hand was still ... in his waistband. I never touched him."

"Fifteen to twenty seconds later, two marked cars show up ... A moment later my supervisor shows up and he sent me to the police station."


On Sept. 16, 2014, Darren Wilson gave this version of events to a St. Louis county grand jury:

"As I approached them, I stopped a couple feet in front of Johnson as they are walking towards me, I am going towards them. ... As Johnson came around my driver's side mirror I said, 'Why don't you guys walk on the sidewalk.' He kept walking, as he is walking he said 'We are almost to our destination.'"

"Brown was starting to come around the mirror and as he came around the mirror I said, "Well, what's wrong with the sidewalk." Brown then replied, um, it has vulgar language. ... Brown then replied "F**k what you have to say." And when he said that, it drew my attention totally to Brown. It was a very unusual and not expected response from a simple request."

"When I started looking at Brown, first thing I notice is in his right hand, his hand is full of Cigarillos. And that's when it clicked for me because I now saw the Cigarillos, I looked in my mirror, I did a double check that Johnson was wearing a black shirt, these are the two from the stealing."

"... I backed up just past them and then angled my vehicle, the back of my vehicle to kind of cut them off... As I did that, I go to open the door and I say, hey, come here for a minute to Brown. As I'm opening the door he turns, faces me, looks at me and says, 'What the f**k are you going to do about it' and shuts my door, slammed it shut ..."

"...told him to get back and he was just staring at me, almost like to intimidate me or to overpower me. The intense face he had was just not what I expected from any of this. I then opened my door again and used my door to push him backwards, and while I'm doing that I tell him to, "get the f**k back" and then I use my door to push him."

"He then grabs my door again and shuts my door. At that time is when I saw him coming into my vehicle. His head was higher than the top of my car. And I see him ducking and as he is ducking, his hands are up and he is coming in my vehicle."

"I was hit right here in the side of the face with a first. I don't think it was a full-on swing, I think it was a full-on swing, but not a full shot. I think my arm deflected some of it, but there was still a significant amount of contact that was made to my face."

"I remember getting hit and he kind of like grabbed and pulled, and then it stopped. When I looked up, if this is my car door, I'm sitting here facing that way, he's here. He turns like this and now the cigarillos I see in his left hand. He's going like this and he says 'hey man hold these.'"

"I tried to hold his right arm and use my left hand to get out to have some type of control and not be trapped in my car any more. And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan... That's just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm."

"I see his hand coming back around like this and he hit me with this part of his right here, just a full swing all the way back around and hit me right here. ... next thing I remember is how do I get this guy away from me. What do I do not to get beaten inside my car. I remember having my hands up and I thought to myself, you know, what do I do."

"I considered using my mace, however, I wasn't willing to sacrifice my left hand, which is blocking my face... I don't carry a taser... I considered my asp...I wasn't willing to let go of the one defense I had against being hit. The whole time I can't tell you if he was swinging at me or grabbing me or pushing me or what, but there was just stuff going on and I was looking down figuring out what to do. ... Next I considered my flashlight. ... so the only other option I thought I had was my gun. I drew my gun, I turned. It is kind of hard to describe it, I turn and I go like this. He is standing here. I said, "Get back or I'm going to shoot you." He immediately grabs my gun and says "You are too much of a p**sy to shoot me.""

"...then he twists it (gun) and then he digs it down into my hip."

"I felt another one of those punches could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he's obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I've already taken two to the face and I didn't think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right."

"Or at least unconscious and then who knows what would happen to me after that."

INTERVIEWER: Why did you go to the hospital?

"For my face being swollen .. they had discovered there that I had scratches on the back of my neck. ... I had a swollen right cheek, my left they said was swollen, I had scratches around my hairline in the back and I think of the side of my neck, but that's all I remember."

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A side view of officer Darren Wilson after the Aug. 9, 2014 shooting.
St. Louis prosecutor's office

"The gun goes into my hip and at that point I thought I was getting shot. I can feel his fingers try to get inside the trigger guard with my finger and I distinctly remember envisioning a bullet going into my leg. I thought that was the next step."

"When I did get it up to this point, he is still holding onto it and I pulled the trigger and nothing happens, it just clicked. I pull it again, it just clicked again. At this point I'm like why isn't this working, this guy is going to kill me if he gets a hold of this gun. I pulled it a third time, it goes off. When it went off, it shot through my door panel and my window was down and glass flew out of my door panel."

"... he looked up at my and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that's how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up."

"I just saw his hands up, I don't know if they were closed yet, on the way to going closed, I saw this and that face coming at me again, and I just went like this and I shielded my face."

INTERVIEWER: Did he hit you at that time?

"Yes."

"So I pulled the trigger, it just clicks that time... I pulled the trigger again, it goes off. ... It went off twice in the car. Pull, click, click, went off, click, went off. So twice in the car."

"I see him start to run. I then get out of my car. As I'm getting out of the car, I tell dispatch shots fired, send me more cars. We start running ... So when he stopped, I stopped. And then he starts to turn around, I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground. He turns, and when he looked at me, he made like a grunting, like aggravated sound and he starts, he turns and he's coming back towards me. ... his left hand goes in a fist and goes to his side, his right one goes under his shirt in his waistband and he starts running at me."

"As he is coming towards me I tell, keep telling him to get on the ground, he doesn't. I shoot a series of shots. I don't know how many I shot, I just know I shot it. I don't know how many I shot, I just know I shot it. I know I missed a couple, I don't know how many, but I know I hit him at least once because I saw his body kind of jerk or flinched (sic)." I remember having tunnel vision on his right hand, that's all. I'm just focusing on that hand when I was shooting."

"I kind of looked at him and he's still coming at me, he hadn't slowed down. At this point I start backpedaling, and again, I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground, he doesn't. I shoot another round of shots. Again I don't recall how many it was or if I hit him every time. I know at least once because he flinched again. At this point it looked like he was almost building up to the run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I'm shooting at him."

"And then the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn't even there, I wasn't even anything in his way. Well he keeps coming at me after that again, during the pause I tell him to get on the ground, get on the ground, he still keeps coming at me, gets about 8 to 10 feet away. At this point I'm backing up pretty rapidly, I'm backpedaling pretty good because I know if he reaches me he'll kill me. And he had started to lean forward as he got that close, like he was going to just tackle me, just go right through me"

"I look down, I remember looking at my sites and firing, all I see is his head and that's what I shot."

"And then when it went into him, the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean, I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped. When he fell, he fell on his face."