(Fox News) Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man whose fatal shooting by a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August touched off weeks of racially-charged rioting, had marijuana in his system, was initially shot at close range and does not appear to have been killed while running away, according to experts who reviewed the official autopsy and toxicology report.
The documents, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and analyzed by two experts not directly involved in the case, appears to contradict witness accounts that claimed Brown was running away from Police Officer Darren Wilson, 28, when he was killed on Aug. 9. The new information comes on the heels of reports that Wilson told authorities Brown had reached inside Wilson’s police SUV and struggled for his gun, resulting in Wilson firing twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Moments later and outside of the vehicle, Wilson fired the fatal bullets that sparked a national controversy.
The toxicology test. also obtained by the newspaper and performed by a St. Louis University laboratory, revealed marijuana in Brown’s blood and urine. Alfred Staubus, a consultant in forensic toxicology at The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, told the newspaper THC could impair judgment or slow reaction times but that there was no reliable measurement to make those conclusions.
“The detection of THC in the postmortem blood of Michael Brown really indicates his recent use of marijuana (within a few hours) and that he may or may not have been impaired at the time of his death,” Staubus said.
The shots fired outside of the vehicle hit Brown in the forehead, upper right arm and twice in the chest, Melinek said. The fatal shot to the top of Brown’s head indicates he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter, she said. The fact that a sixth shot hit his forearm and traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm shows Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, Melinek said.