Since the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in St. Louis, MO on August 9th, the accounts of police and eyewitnesses have differed greatly: witnesses say he was shot as he ran away from an officer who was trying to stop or arrest him, but the police insist that he assaulted an officer and reached for his gun. Today, Rolling Stone correspondent Tim Dickinson found what looks like an account from another witness — posted to Twitter as immediately after the shooting happened.
I JUST SAW SOMEONE DIE OMFG— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
The account belongs to @TheePharoah, who identifies himself as a St. Louis-based rapper. On August 9th, just after noon local time, he apparently posted a series of tweets describing the shooting, including multiple photographs of police, bystanders, and what looks like Brown's body. The timestamps fit with what we know of the shooting, but we can't absolutely confirm the tweets' authenticity. They do, however, echo the story of other eyewitnesses. "Dude was running and the cops just shot him," the man writes, claiming that the police shot him 7 to 9 times.
Police and protestors have clashed in the wake of the shooting, and the FBI and St. Louis County Police are currently investigating whether the official account is accurate. The name of the shooter, Darren Wilson, was released this morning; Wilson has been on paid leave since Brown's death. Earlier today, the police also distributed packets containing reports and security camera photographs of a robbery, in which Brown allegedly stole cigars from a convenience store. When Wilson saw Brown, though, he didn't know he was a suspect — Brown was stopped for jaywalking. Vox has a full account of the case, which is still developing.