Medical Examiner: Fatal Bullet Moved From Back To Front Of Brown’s Head
The bullet that struck Michael Brown fatally in the head was moving from a back to front direction, and Brown appeared to have fallen straight forward onto the ground after he was shot, one of the medical examiners who conducted an independent autopsy tells The Daily Caller.
“The shot to the head was going downward and slightly back to front,” said Prof. Shawn Parcells in a phone interview, clarifying comments he made shortly after he and Dr. Michael Baden announced Brown’s autopsy results at a press conference on Monday.
“When it entered the top of the head it was going in a slight frontal direction,” Parcells told TheDC.
“When we analyzed it, we concluded it was going forward and it was going slightly towards the eye,” he said, clarifying that the bullet moved from the left of the mid-line of Brown’s head towards his right eye.
The trajectory of the bullet, fired from the gun of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, is a crucial piece of information in determining what Brown’s movements were as he was hit with the fatal shot.
Brown’s family and some witnesses claim that he was surrendering with his hands up as Wilson shot him.
“It’s definitely consistent with him bending forward or falling forward,” said Parcells. Brown’s supporters believe that this proves that Wilson fired as Brown was in a state of surrender.
Another witness has claimed that she saw Brown getting down on his knees and holding up his hands in surrender as he was shot.
“The officer kept shooting and he fell to his knees, begging for his life,” a woman who claimed to have witnessed the shooting told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s when he finished him off, shot him in the head.”
Protesters and Brown’s family attorneys have used the slogan “Hands up, don’t shoot” to protest the shooting and Ferguson and St. Louis County police’s investigation. Other eye-witness accounts have not mentioned Brown falling to his knees, though some demonstrators have incorporated standing on their knees into their protest.
Asked about whether Brown’s knees showed any trauma, Parcells said that it is unclear if they made that kind of contact with the ground.
“I didn’t really see any other abrasions to the lower part of the body that would have indicated [that he dropped to his knees],” said Parcells.
“It’s more consistent with him just falling straight forward.”
Parcells said that observing Brown’s clothing is extremely important. Brown was wearing shorts. “From what we saw it’s not apparent that he fell on his knees, but we can’t be sure,” said Parcells.
“If [the shorts] covered his knees, then there would be scuff marks to the pants as well.”
Parcells reiterated what he said in Monday’s press conference that a bullet wound to Brown’s forearm is consistent with a witness account that he was shot as he was moving away from Wilson and then jerked around when he was hit. But he left open the possibility that the wound could have been sustained as Brown was holding up his arms in a defensive motion or while surrendering. He ruled out the possibility that the forearm wound could have been sustained while Brown was facing Wilson.
An unnamed witness who was recorded on videotape shortly after the shooting said that he saw Brown turn around after Wilson fired shots and started moving towards the officer.
A source familiar with the investigation is claiming that Wilson says Brown was “bum-rushing” him before the fatal shots were fired, according to CNN.
In total, Parcells and Baden determined that Brown was shot at least six times. A wound to the chest is unclear and could be either a re-entry wound from another bullet or its own separate wound.
The shooting occurred minutes after Brown and a friend had left a nearby convenience store. There, Brown allegedly stole cigars and shoved a store clerk. Wilson drove upon Brown and his friend and asked the pair to move out of the street. Wilson reportedly claimed that he did not know about the robbery when he approached, but heard a dispatch call describing the suspects. He then confronted Brown and his friend which led to a struggle in Wilson’s cruiser.
Parcells and Dr. Michael Baden were hired by the Brown family to conduct the independent autopsy. The St. Louis County medical examiner did their own examination shortly after Brown’s death, but the results have not been made public.
Baden said at the press conference Monday that St. Louis County medical examiner Mary Case is “excellent.”
A source familiar with that autopsy told The Washington Post Monday that Case’s autopsy found that Brown was shot from the front and had wounds in the chest. Brown also had marijuana in his system, according to the examination.
Citing “extraordinary circumstances,” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy on Sunday.
Follow Chuck on Twitter