FERGUSON, Mo. – Chief Jon Belmar with the St. Louis County Police Department held a news conference Sunday morning and released new information about the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Brown was shot and killed Saturday afternoon by a Ferguson police officer.
Belmar said the incident started when Brown physically assaulted the police officer, pushing him into the officer's vehicle. He said there was a struggle inside the car, and at some point Brown reached for the officer's weapon. One shot was fired inside the vehicle.
Brown suffered fatal gunshot wounds outside of the vehicle, approximately 35 feet from the car. Belmar said multiple shell casings were found at the scene, and that Brown was shot more than once, but an exact number of shots fired has not yet been determined. All the shell casings came from the officer's weapon.
Belmar confirmed Brown was unarmed at the time of the shooting. He did not say what led to the struggle inside the officer's car.
Ferguson police cars do not have dash cameras, so there is no police video of the incident available for review, according to Officer Brian Schellman, a county police spokesman.
"There is no video in the apartment complex," Schellman added. "We are still trying to determine if any witnesses recorded the incident."
The medical examiner is conducting an investigation to determine how many times Brown was shot. It will take several weeks before toxicology results are available.
After the shooting, Belmar said Ferguson Chief Tom Jackson called him and asked the county to take over the investigation.
Belmar said when the investigation is complete the findings will be turned over to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. They will determine if charges should be filed.
On Saturday afternoon the St. Louis County NAACP called for the FBI to investigate the shooting. Belmar said the FBI could become involved later, and that it's not unusual for the FBI to become involved in cases like this.
"My son just turned 18 and graduated from high school, and he don't bother nobody," Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, told NewsChannel 5 Saturday night. She said he was looking forward to starting school at Vatterott College next week.
"They told me how many times my son was shot. Eight," said McSpadden. She said he was visiting his grandmother, who lives in the complex, and was returning from the store.
A St. Louis County teenager is dead and a community outraged after a Ferguson police officer opened fire.
Fifteen police agencies responded to the scene Saturday afternoon as members of the community started gathering.
The officer who shot Brown has been with the Ferguson Police Department for about six years. He is on paid administrative leave. The officer was interviewed Saturday, and will be interviewed more extensively Sunday. Jackson told Belmar the officer will undergo two psychological evaluations if it is determined he can return to active duty.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay tweeted Sunday, saying he stands with County Executive Charlie Dooley in his call "for a full and open inquiry into yesterday's shooting in Ferguson."
Outside the Ferguson Police Department's headquarters Sunday morning protesters raised their hands in the air and chanted "Don't shoot." Those protesters could be heard in the background during the news conference.
On Saturday, witnesses told NewsChannel 5 Brown had raised his hands in the air before he was shot, but that information was not confirmed by Belmar.
The protesters are calling for 10,000 people to join them in protesting at 10 a.m. Monday at the Ferguson Police Department. The crowd marched through the streets Sunday morning and afternoon, calling for justice.
Brown's family is asking for the crowd to gather at the crime scene Sunday at 8 p.m. for a candlelight vigil. A peaceful prayer vigil outside the police department was scheduled for 3 p.m.
Attorney General Chris Koster tweeted his condolences to Brown's family Sunday afternoon.
Esther Haywood, president of the St. Louis County NAACP, released this statement following the news conference:
"We are hurt to hear that yet another teenaged boy has been slaughtered by law enforcement especially in light of the recent death of Eric Garner in New York who was killed for selling cigarettes. We plan to do everything within our power to ensure that the Ferguson Police Department as well as the St. Louis County Police Department releases all details pertinent to the shooting. We strongly encourage residents to stay away from the crime scene so that no additional citizens are injured. I have spoken directly with St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, and I am confident that both he and his department will ensure that the investigation is conducted properly and that all details are kept transparent."
The St. Louis County Police Department released this statement Sunday afternoon:
"In reference to the Ferguson Police Department shooting which occurred yesterday, we are investigating the incident like any other criminal investigation. There is no conflict of interest as none of our officers were involved and we have been asked to handle this investigation by Ferguson Police Department for that very reason.
"Chief Belmar and the St. Louis County Police will be conducting a full investigation. The results of our investigation will be forwarded to the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office who will decide on criminal charges.
"The FBI will be contacted today and notified of the incident. If they choose, they may conduct a separate use-of-force investigation on this incident directly with the Ferguson Police Department.
"We understand the response this incident has garnered and would like everyone to understand a lot of articles and replies have a lot of sensationalism spread throughout. We, like you, were not present when the incident occurred. We are investigating it and that is our only involvement with the shooting.
"We are sorry that a young man lost his life and ask all to give their condolences to the family along with their thoughts and prayers. We are investigating this incident as we would any other shooting. There is no bias or favoritism applied as we are an outside agency and were not involved."