Autopsy Report Says Michael Brown Shot Twice in the Head

Attorney General Eric Holder Attorney General Eric Holder Flickr user Ryan Johnson

An autopsy report conducted at the request of Michael Brown's family shows that he was shot six times — four in the right arm and twice in the head — with all shots coming from the front of his body. The autopsy was the second of three that will be conducted on Brown's body. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to do an independent examination. State officials performed the first autopsy. This second autopsy, performed on Sunday, was conducted by Dr. Michael Baden, a former chief medical examine for New York City, at the request of Brown's family.

The details of Baden's report were given to the New York Times, and provide some new information about the incident, but Baden was limited in his conclusions by lack of certain evidence. He did not have access to Brown's clothes (which might have contained gunpowder residue), nor did he have access to witness statements, police photographs, x-rays, or all of the bullet fragments. Only three were recovered from the body.

The fact that all six shots came from the front would seem to refute at least one witness claim that Brown was shot in the back while running away. However, at least one of the shots was fired into the top of Brown's head, indicating he could have been on his knees or giving up, as others have reported. Baden also allows for the possibility that he was charging forward at the officer when he was shot, but all the bullets appeared to have been fired from some distance away. According to Baden, the two shots that hit Brown in the head were likely the final two fired. They would have killed him almost instantly.

The autopsy concludes that even if medical personnel had arrived immediately, Brown would not have survived.

(Image via Flickr user Ryan Johnson)

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.