After nearly a week of protests, the Ferguson Police Department has identified the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said during a Friday morning press conference that Darren Wilson, a police officer who had been serving in the force for six years, was responsible for the shooting in the Missouri town.
Jackson did not take questions, but earlier told CNN that the responsible officer was "devastated." Ferguson police provided informational packets, including police reports, to media at the scene.
The news comes after five days of turmoil in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb of 21,000.
According to a police report provided by Ferguson police Friday, a strongarm robbery at a convenience store on Sunday was connected to Brown's shooting. Jackson said the police will release dispatch records and video footage of the robbery.
At 11:51 a.m. on Sunday, a 911 call was placed about a robbery at the store. Brown is listed as the primary suspect in police reports. One box of Swisher Sweets cigars (value: $48.99) was stolen from the store. The report says that, during the robbery, the suspect identified in the report as Brown "towers" over a man in the store, "appearing to intimidate him" before walking out of the view of the camera.
The timing of the shooting remains confusing. According to Jackson, Wilson was dispatched to the scene, and at 12:01 p.m., he "encountered" Brown. Three minutes later, a second officer arrived on the scene. According to the police report, there was an officer on the scene at 12:02 p.m., but "four to six shots" were fired around 2 p.m.—more than two hours later. It's unclear whether those were the gunshots that hit Brown.
Ferguson has been the site of daily protests since Brown's death. Police initially responded with SWAT teams, tear gas, and rubber bullets. On Thursday, the state government announced a switch, taking St. Louis County police officers off the beat and placing Missouri State Highway Patrol officers in command.
The identification of the police officer who shot Brown comes after hackers tried to obtain the name themselves. On Thursday, hacking group Anonymous released the name and photo of a Ferguson police officer that it claimed to be the man who shot Brown. Ferguson police quickly denied their claim, and Twitter suspended the Anonymous account that had sent out the information.
The shooting in Ferguson has captured national attention, drawing criticism about militarized law enforcement and racial profiling. Two-thirds of Ferguson residents are black, and all but three of its 53 police officers are white.
A local Fox News reporter in Ferguson said there were more than 17 national news cameras covering the press conference on Friday. The press conference took place in front of the QuikTrip convenience store, which was burned down and looted in the aftermath of the shooting on Sunday night.
Protesters chanted "hands up, don't shoot" and "no justice, no peace" as they marched down West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, where Brown was shot.
Though we now know the identity of the officer involved in the shooting, there is still much information to be learned about what happened that night. Witnesses have claimed that Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot, while authorities have said Brown fought to take the officer's gun in his squad car. Jackson has refused to say how many times Brown was shot, saying he does not want to prejudice witness testimony.
Brown's family and their attorneys released a statement on Friday saying they were "more than outraged":
"There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender," the statement reads. "It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him."
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon released a statement Friday about the new information.
"I'm pleased that the people of Ferguson and the region began to get some long-overdue information today, and I will continue to call for openness and transparency as the parallel investigations into this tragedy proceed to their necessary conclusions," the statement reads. "For the sake of the family, the citizens of Ferguson, and the entire region, it is vital that the investigations into the shooting death of Michael Brown move forward in a thorough, open and transparent manner to ensure that trust is restored and justice is done."
Authorities have said the investigation is likely to take weeks.
"The timeline on this is there is no timeline," St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said at a press conference on Wednesday. "We will do this as expeditiously as possible. But we won't rush."
This story is breaking and will be updated.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the day of Brown's death. It was Saturday.
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