Darren Wilson isn’t the “cold-blooded murderer” that people are making him out to be and is really “struggling” with what happened during the shooting.
That’s what a friend, who wished to remain unidentified, told ABC News in an interview.
“Darren’s a good person, and people have immediately labeled him as a cold-blooded murderer, and that’s not the type of person he is,” said the friend, who appeared on Good Morning America. “I wasn’t there, I don’t know exactly what happened, but I do know Darren is a good man and he cares about other people a lot.”
The friend recalled feeling shocked upon learning that Wilson was responsible for the shooting. “When I first heard … I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a mistake, in all honesty … I can never imagine him shooting anybody, even as a police officer,” the friend said, calling Wilson a “quiet,” “well-mannered” and “respectful” guy. “He did not have a temper.”
The police department refused to release Wilson’s name after the fatal shooting, claiming that he had received death threats. The public wasn’t informed of his name until nearly a week after the Aug. 9 incident. The 28-year-old officer has been on administrative leave and out of the public eye since the shooting.
His friend said the death threats are among the reasons Wilson remains quiet. “I can tell he’s struggling. I can tell this is really hard on him. He’s been very careful about who he talks to, so he hasn’t spoken much about the situation,” the friend added. “The whole situation is a tragedy for both Michael Brown and his family and Darren and his family. Both of their lives are ruined.
“I feel like maybe he’s been unfairly portrayed as a villain, definitely. He was just doing his job, and he was put in a bad situation where he had to make a decision that nobody really wants to make,” the friend continued.
However, the friend also conceded that something needs to change when it comes to incidents like these. “I don’t know if true justice can ever really be served. But I hope that some sort of change comes from this. Maybe police officers wear body cameras so [there’s] no question as to what happened. I hope Mike Brown’s family finds peace somehow, if that’s possible,” the friend said.
Read more at ABC News.