According to an independent autopsy initiated by the family of Andrew Brown Jr., the 42-year-old Black man was shot five times, including once in the back of the head.
“This, in fact, was a fatal wound to the back of Mr. Brown’s head as he was leaving the site trying to evade being shot at by these particular law enforcement officers that we believe did nothing but a straight up execution,” family lawyer Wayne Kendall said during a press conference, NBC News reported.
The report also revealed that he was shot in the shoulder, upper right arm and near his right elbow.
After the autopsy revealed he was killed by a bullet to the back of his head, the FBI said it would be conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.
As Blavity previously reported, the North Carolina man was shot on Wednesday by deputies in Elizabeth City while being compliant with officers’ demands with his hands on the steering wheel.
Rest in Peace to Andrew Brown.
Elizabeth City, North Carolina. pic.twitter.com/Zmn8mgtHzX
— Mayor Colin Byrd (@MayorByrd) April 26, 2021
After reviewing body camera footage of the fatal police shooting, attorneys for Brown’s family reinforced the notion that the encounter was “an execution.”
“They’re shooting and saying ‘Let me see your hands’ at the same time,” family attorney Chantel Cherry-Lassiter said, according to NBC 4. “Let’s be clear. This was an execution.”
The family was only able to view a clip of the footage that shows police shooting Brown, where Cherry-Lassiter says he was trying to “save his own life.”
“What the 20 seconds shows is that Andrew Brown is not a threat to officers,” Cherry-Lassiter told CNN. “As he was being shot at, Andrew was trying to back away from the officers and save his life, save his own life.”
City Manager Montré Freeman said he was “flabbergasted” that the family was not able to see the full video of the incident.
“You know, when you have bodycam, the most transparent thing to do is to show all of it, and unfortunately, that did not happen yesterday, and I wish I had an answer for you,” he said.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Brent Hall ruled that the fatal shot which penetrated Brown’s skull and brain was shot from an “intermediate” range. As stated in Hall’s report, the bullet had a trajectory of “bottom to top, left to right, and back to front.”
While the footage shows the encounter was not long-standing, the family expressed their woes in only being shown a small portion of the shooting.
“We got a little bit of evidence but that wasn’t enough for us, “Brown’s son Khalil Ferebee told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “We’re heartbroken.”
“Those (four) gunshots to the arm, that weren’t enough? That weren’t enough?” Ferebee said. “It’s obvious he was trying to get away. It’s obvious and they’re going to shoot him in the back of the head? That s— not right. That’s not right at all, man.”