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Report: Autopsy shows Michael Brown had close-range wound to his hand

ST. LOUIS -- Michael Brown's official autopsy shows the 18-year-old was shot in the hand at close range during a struggle with the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot him, two experts said in a published report Wednesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained the St. Louis County medical examiner's autopsy and an accompanying toxicology report that shows Brown had used marijuana.

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The newspaper reported that St. Louis medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham and another pathologist not involved in the investigation reviewed the report and said it indicates a wound to Brown's hand came at close range.

Brown and officer Darren Wilson struggled inside Wilson's SUV on Aug. 9 and Brown was shot once in the hand. Brown was killed outside the vehicle.

Graham told the Post-Dispatch that the autopsy report "does support that there was a significant altercation at the car."

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Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the autopsy offers no insight into why Wilson killed Brown. An independent autopsy commissioned by the family says that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

The newspaper posted a copy of the autopsy and toxicology report on its website. Medical examiner's office administrator Suzanne McCune confirmed the posted information was accurate but said her office won't officially release the documents until the investigation is complete. The newspaper did not say where it obtained the documents.

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Last week, the New York Times reported that Wilson told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as they struggled over his gun.

The officer's account to authorities did not explain why he fired at Brown multiple times after emerging from his vehicle, according to the Times.

The Times reported that the account of Wilson's version of events came from government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked racial unrest and weeks of protests, some of which turned violent. Wilson is white and Brown black.

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Wilson remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting that has sparked sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon appointed a special commission to look at how the region can move forward after the concerns raised by the shooting and its aftermath.

Wilson confronted Brown and Dorian Johnson as they walked back to Brown's home from a convenience store. After the shooting, Brown died at the scene. Some witnesses have told authorities and news media that Brown had his hands raised when Wilson approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly.

Wilson's attorney, James P. Towey, did not return messages seeking comment Wednesday.

The Justice Department is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations, including whether officers there use excessive force and engage in discriminatory practices. Two-thirds of Ferguson's 21,000 residents are black but only three of its more than 50 police officers are black.

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