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Tensions Run High in Missouri Over Unarmed Teen Shot Dead by Police

Missouri teen shot dead by police, community erupts in anger and sadness

Saturday, August 9, started off as an otherwise typical summer day in Ferguson, Missouri — until shots rang out on a quiet street.

Witnesses say a police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, even as he held his hands high in the air so the officer could see he was unarmed. But two days later, the circumstances over why Brown was shot still remain unclear, as conflicting reports continue to come in over what exactly happened.

What is known for sure, is that the black teen was shot multiple times by a six-year member of the Ferguson police department, who has since been placed on administrative leave. But new reports claim that Brown was the initial aggressor, and that the scuffle between the teen and the officer actually began in the back of a squad car, over the officer's weapon.

The witnesses on the scene, though, paint a different story.

"He (the officer) shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air," said witness Dorian Johnson, who was also a friend Brown's. "He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots."

Whatever the case, the disturbing scene was witnessed by many onlookers, causing news of Brown's death to spread fast throughout the community. Before long, hundreds of locals took to the streets in anger and sadness, with many allegedly shouting "kill the police."

"We had what probably bordered on riot conditions," said Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who said it took hours to secure the scene and prolonged the time it took for detectives to collect evidence and remove Brown's body.

Tactical teams were called in to calm the crowd and over 100 officers from 15 different police departments lined the street.

Meanwhile, at their home, Brown's family was informed of his death. "He was a good kid," his grandmother, Desuirea Harris, told KMOV. "He didn't live around here; he came to visit me and they did that to him for no reason."

"He didn't bother nobody," Brown's mother told KSDK. "They told me how many times my son was shot: eight."

Turning her comments to the police, Brown's mother said, "You not God. You [can't] decide you are going to take somebody from her."

While the race of the officer who shot Brown was not released, the incident immediately ignited mounting racial tensions in the town of Ferguson. Angry demonstrations, looting and vandalism followed throughout Sunday, which only quieted down in the evening, as a candlelight vigil for the victim was held.

Image via KSDK

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