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An eyewitness who testified before a grand jury deciding whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson gave a new perspective of the shooting that left unarmed teenager Michael Brown dead.

The witness, a Canfield resident who agreed to an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on the condition that his name not be used, said the shooting was “down outright murder.” The witness also told the Post-Dispatch that he saw the killing of Brown from start to finish, claiming that Brown didn’t actually have his hands up when he was shot, but to the side in a gesture of disbelief.

From the Post-Dispatch

The witness said he saw Wilson’s police SUV stop near Brown and Johnson as they were walking in the middle of Canfield Drive. He said he heard Wilson say something to them, but not what. He said Wilson drove past them, then backed up. The witness said he had been on the right side of the police SUV and did not have a clear view of what happened on the opposite, driver’s side. “There was a tussle going on,” he said, adding that he believes he saw Wilson’s hat fly off.

He then heard a shot and saw Brown run, followed by Wilson. He said Wilson aimed his handgun at Brown and yelled: “Stop! Stop! Stop!”

The witness said Brown did stop, mumbled something he could not clearly hear and took a step toward Wilson.

“When he stepped foot on that street, the officer told him to stop again, and he fired three shots,” the witness recalled. “When he (Brown) got hit, he staggered like, ‘Oh,’ and his body moved. Then he looked down.

“His hands were up like this (he gestures with arms out to the side and palms upward), and he was looking at the officer and was coming toward him trying to keep his feet and stand up. The officer took a few steps back and yelled, ‘Stop,’ again, and Michael was trying to stay on his feet.

“He was 20 to 25 feet from officer, and after he started staggering, he (Wilson) let off four more rounds. As he was firing those last rounds, Michael was on his way down. We were thinking, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, brother, stop, stop.’ He was already on his way down when he fired those last shots.”

The witness said Wilson didn’t have to kill Brown. “It went from zero to 100 like that, in the blink of an eye. … What transpired to us, in my eyesight, was murder. Down outright murder.”

Two men working outside the Canfield Green apartment complex also told reporters that Brown was shot in a barrage of gunfire, but mentioned the teenager’s hands were up in the surrender position synonymous with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” chant of protestors and activists demonstrating for justice.

They didn’t however, hear the officer say anything to Brown before opening fire, claiming the teenager screamed “OK! OK! OK! OK! OK! OK!” before the shooting.

The latest witness testified in front of the grand jury two weeks ago. He also told his version of the events to police investigators. During his hour-long testimony, he mentioned he had previously seen Brown walking around the complex and knew that a friend of the 18-year-old lived nearby.

He said that he was surprised by a video showing Brown stealing from a convenience store minutes before he was killed and shoving a store clerk who tried to stop him.

“Everyone has a little dark secret, but all I know is that anytime I’ve been in his presence, he was very cordial,” the witness said. “He was one of the few in all the years I’ve lived out here with all these young guys who ever addressed me as ‘sir’ and asked me how I was doing instead of, ‘What’s up, dog?’ ”

The grand jury is expected to announce their decision by mid-November.

SOURCE: STL Post-Dispatch | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout

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