The Slatest

Autopsy Report Shows Michael Brown Was Shot Six Times

Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, the parents of slain teenager Michael Brown, attend a rally at Greater Grace Church on Sunday in Ferguson, Missouri. An autopsy the Brown family requested shows the teen was shot at least six times.  

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The New York Times is reporting that the results of a family-requested autopsy on Michael Brown show that the Ferguson, Missouri, teen was shot at least six times by police officer Darren Wilson. The autopsy was performed by Dr. Michael Baden, a veteran examiner who the Times says “reviewed the autopsies of both President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

From the Times:

“One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said. 


Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all four bullets were fired into his front.”

The Times also reports that the absence of gunpowder residue suggests that Brown was shot from some distance, although they add that assessment could change with an analysis of Brown’s clothing, which Baden was not given access to. 

Baden also said that Brown would not have survived even if he’d been taken to the hospital immediately. He was also cautious about reading too much into his report. “Right now there is too little information to forensically reconstruct the shooting.”

Baden’s autopsy is the second to be performed on Brown’s body. The results of the first, performed by St. Louis County, have not been released. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice would conduct a third autopsy.

Read the rest of Slate’s coverage of the protests in Ferguson.