THE 18-year-old unarmed black youth shot dead by a Missouri police officer was a suspect in a robbery, it was claimed yesterday, as order returned to the town which had been hit by protests.
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson claimed there had been a report of a theft of cigars from a store minutes before officer Darren Wilson encountered Michael Brown walking down the street.
The robbery suspect had been described as a black male wearing a white T-shirt, according to police records.
Wilson – who has been with the force for six years – shot and killed the teenager last Saturday afternoon.
The deadly interaction was swift – Mr Jackson said Wilson saw Brown at 12:01pm and had shot him by 12:04pm.
Tensions have led to violent protests this week in Ferguson, with demonstrators railing against heavily armed local police. Yesterday lightly armed Highway Patrol officers were drafted in to help defuse the situation, taking over policing from the county force.