Autopsy: Michael Brown Sustained Close-Range Wound to Hand

Dr. Michael Baden points to an autopsy diagram showing where gun shots hit Michael Brown during a press conference at the Greater St. Marks Family Church on Aug. 18, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
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Official autopsy results show that unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown was shot in the hand from close range, two unrelated experts have confirmed through analysis, according to documents seen by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Toxicology reports also confirmed that Brown, who was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson, had marijuana in his system at the time of his death, though there is no reliable way to determine if Brown’s judgment was impaired at the time of his death.


According to the report, Wilson told investigators that Brown had made an attempt to take his gun. Wilson claims that during the struggle for his gun inside the SUV, Wilson fired twice, hitting the young man in the hand once.

St. Louis medical examiner Michael Graham, who has no ties to the current investigation, did say that the autopsy seemed to indicate “there was a significant altercation at the car.”


According to the Post-Dispatch, examinations showed that the wound to his hand was from a shot that went from the tip of his right thumb toward the wrist. There was no stippling, or powder burns, according to the autopsy.

Graham, though, explained to the paper, “Sometimes when it’s really close, such as within an inch or so, there is no stipple, just smoke.” 


According to the Post-Dispatch, additional analysis of tissue from the thumb wound showed foreign matter “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.” Another medical examiner, Judy Melinek from San Francisco, said that this “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.

“If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun,” Melinek told the Post-Dispatch.

Read more at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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