Ferguson Police Release Name of Michael Brown Shooter, Details of a Robbery

click to enlarge Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters. - Lindsay Toler
Lindsay Toler
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters.

A Ferguson Police officer named Darren Wilson, an officer with six years on the force and no disciplinary record, is the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown on Saturday, says chief Tom Jackson.

Jackson released Wilson's name to the media as well as information about a strongarm robbery that occurred just before Brown's death. Brown was a suspect in the incident, and Dorian Johnson, who has been vocal about witnessing Brown's death, is also a suspect, according to information released by police. Update 2:20 p.m.: Police say Johnson will not be charged in the robbery.

View a copy of the police incident report here.

Jackson offered a timeline for the events on August 2:

Around 11:40 a.m., an officer, now identified as Wilson, arrived at a sick call in the Parkridge Apartments. At 11:51 a.m., there was a 911 call from a nearby convenience store -- not the QuikTrip in Ferguson that was later burned and looted, the chief says -- for a robbery. At 11:52 a.m., dispatch released a description of the robbery suspect: a black male in a white T-shirt.

At 12:01 p.m, Wilson encountered Michael Brown, who was walking toward QuikTrip. That's when Wilson shot Brown.

Update 2:20 p.m.: Police say Wilson did not approach Brown because of the robbery. He approached Brown about walking in the street.

At 12:04 p.m., a second officer arrived at the scene, and at 12:05 p.m., a supervisor was dispatched to the scene.

According to security-camera images and information released by police, a suspect identified as Brown appears to physically intimidate a store clerk to steal a box of Swisher Sweets cigars valued at about $50.

See all Riverfront Times coverage of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

Jackson's answer wasn't enough for many people who gathered for his press conference Friday morning:

The officer is on paid administrative leave, per departmental policy. Jackson told reporters this week that some officers were taking vacation time to "get out of town" after the unrest.

Update 12 p.m.: Here's our full report on the robbery that happened before Wilson shot Brown: Michael Brown Police Report: Photos Suggest Robbery Beforehand, Limited Other Details

Update 10:30 a.m.: Here's Governor Jay Nixon's reaction to the announcement today:

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. 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.

Update 9:45 a.m.: Daily RFT reached out to attorneys for Michael Brown's family and relatives. We were able to reach Pastor Charles Ewing, Brown's uncle, and this is all he would say: "I have no comment right now. I can't talk right now. I'm just so upset."

Note: Last year, we did a story about a St. Louis Metropolitan Police officer named Darren Wilson. That is not the same Wilson as the Ferguson Police officer named Darren Wilson who shot Brown. Just a heads up.

Our earlier story:

Ever since Brown was shot and killed Saturday afternoon, police response has angered a community already consumed by mournful fury at the death of a teen who was starting college in the fall. Some Ferguson protesters cited the obtuse police response to neighbors' questions about Brown's killing, combined with a history of mistrust between the mostly black community and mostly white police force, as justification for the looting and violence that swept this quiet St. Louis suburb this week.

As the investigation began Saturday, Brown's body was left uncovered outside, a move even Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said made him uncomfortable. Jackson explained by saying nearby gunshots interfered with the on-the-scene investigation into his death.

When the community demanded the name of the officer who shot brown, police had to refuse, citing the ongoing investigation. By Monday, police agreed to release the name but quickly changed their minds, citing threats on the lives of the officer.

As police delayed releasing the officer's name, the chiefs of Ferguson and St. Louis County's police forces also secretive about the number of times Brown was shot. When asked by reporters, St. Louis County Chief Jon Belmar told reporters, "more than just a couple, but I don't think it was many more than that."

Police were also slow to talk to a key witness in the investigation, Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown when he was killed.

See also: Why Police Haven't Interviewed Michael Brown Shooting Witness Dorian Johnson

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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