Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder Flickr user Ryan Johnson

Autopsy Report Says Michael Brown Shot Twice in the Head

Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal medical examiner to do a separate, independent examination.

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)