After Ferguson police shooting, apparent witness tweets: ‘I just saw someone die’
Tweets posted in the moments after a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown appear to provide a contemporaneous account of the shooting and immediate aftermath.
The tweets were sent by an individual using the Twitter handle @TheePharoah, who describes himself as a St. Louis-based rapper. The individual has not spoken to reporters and has said on his account that he has no plans to do so. He has been active on Twitter since 2010, and Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske viewed the scene from the apartment building to verify the location.
Warning: The language in the tweets is raw and may be offensive; one image is graphic. This account was written before the incident became a flash point in the nation about race and use of force by police.
On Friday, police released surveillance video they allege shows Brown committing a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store about half a mile from the location of the shooting. Here's a look at the timeline of events from that point forward, according to this apparent witness:
11:52 a.m.: Convenience store video footage shows a man identified as Michael Brown enter a convenience store with another man, later identified as Dorian Johnson
11:54 a.m.: That same video shows Brown and Johnson leaving the store after Brown appears to have a confrontation with the clerk. Police allege he stole Swisher Sweets cigars from the store
[NOTE: Times below may appear in the Pacific Time zone, which is two hours earlier than Missouri time.]
12:03 p.m.: Half a mile away, in the 2900 block of Canfield Road, the witness tweets:
I JUST SAW SOMEONE DIE OMFG— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Im about to hyperventilate— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Two minutes later, he shares a photo of the scene, shot from the Canfield Green Apartments.
Fuckfuck fuck pic.twitter.com/UpPNMEzuwf— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Someone on Twitter asks @TheePharoah:
@TheePharoah why did they shoot him?— m a r v a l a c e (@_amourlace) August 9, 2014
@_amourlace no reason! He was running!— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Another person asks for more details:
@TheePharoah from behind ?— DIGITAL ERA (@SLIKK_DARKO) August 9, 2014
@SLIKK_DARKO the first two was, the next 5 werent, he turned around— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Another person asks:
@TheePharoah was dude grown?— Dominique (@DomoTheTruth) August 9, 2014
@DomoTheTruth he looked like 18 or 19. His parents out here tripping now— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
He share's another image of the scene:
@TheePharoah says he sees Brown's parents arrive.
@MVPGO cuz, I saw the parents out here they were 20 feet away from me, screaming— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Someone speculated to @TheePharoah that Brown must have had a reason to be running from police. Police said on Friday that Brown was a suspect in an alleged robbery at a nearby convenience store, but the police officer who shot him was not aware of that when he pulled him over for walking in the middle of the street. @TheePharoah appears to have heard about the allegations shortly after the shooting.
@_takeitsleazy apparently he stole some rellos— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Just got told to stay inside. Scene will be clear hopefully in a couple hours.— Bruh. (@TheePharoah) August 9, 2014
Follow @theryanparker for breaking news
The Latinx experience chronicled
Get the Latinx Files newsletter for stories that capture the multitudes within our communities.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.