For the first time since the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown pushed the name "Darren Wilson" into the national consciousness, America got to hear the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot the unarmed teen speak.
From a secret location and only a day after a St. Louis grand jury decided not to charge the 28-year-old officer, Wilson told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he was in fear for his life when he encountered the teen. He noted that he was sorry for the family's loss but added that he would not do anything different.
"He threw the first punch," Wilson said. He described Brown as being the instigator from the time he approached the teen. He claimed that after he asked Brown and his friend to walk on the sidewalk, the teen cussed him, causing Wilson to confront Brown. Wilson said that he tried to get out of the car, but Brown slammed the door on him and then punched him in the face. A tussle ensued inside the car.
"I pulled my gun and said, 'Get back or I'm going to shoot you.' He grabbed the gun and said, 'You're too much of a p—sy to shoot me,' " Wilson said. Wilson noted that he squeezed the trigger three times before a shot went off inside the car. He said that Brown became angry and his intensity grew, and that after Brown heard the the loud shot, he didn't leave the officer but came back in to attack Wilson again.
"I wasn't looking at him. I just, like, racked it [loaded the gun], expecting another hit, and I put my gun up and fired," Wilson said. He then exited the vehicle. When Stephanopoulos asked why, he answered, "My job isn't to just sit and wait. I have to see where this guy goes."
Wilson told Stephanopoulos that he had never used his gun before his encounter with Brown. He said that he chased Brown and that Brown stopped running, turned and faced him.
Stephanopoulos asked why, and Wilson answered that Brown's right hand moved toward his waistband and his left hand was balled tight into a fist.
"He starts charging me," Wilson said.
Stephanopoulos noted that eyewitnesses have claimed that Brown turned with his hands in the air.
"That would be incorrect," Wilson said. "No way."
Wilson told Stephanopoulos that Brown started charging toward him. He claimed that before he pulled the trigger, he gave himself a mental check: "Legally, can I shoot this guy? And the answer I gave myself was, 'I have to. If I don't, he will kill me.' "
Wilson said that he has no regrets about the Aug. 9 shooting and that he would not have done anything differently even if Brown had been white. He said that he and his new wife—Wilson got married last month—just want to have a normal life.
When Stephanopoulos asked if this encounter was something that would haunt him, Wilson was quick to correct the wording: "I don't think it is a haunting … it is always going to be something that happened."