They were stopped not because the police were looking for a robbery suspect, Chief Jackson said Friday, but “because they were walking down the street blocking traffic.”
Devin Stone, 28, a friend of Mr. Brown’s, was home in his apartment at the time, across the street from the place where the men were confronted by the police.
Sitting outside his building, Mr. Stone said he was jolted by the sound of two gunshots, followed by several more in rapid succession. The second series of shots “sounded automatic,” he said. “They let it rip.”
Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR.
They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.”
On Friday, speaking to reporters, Chief Jackson said the shooting was “absolutely devastating” to Officer Wilson. “He never intended for any of this to happen.”