Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who on August 9 shot and killed unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, told federal investigators that Brown reached for his gun and made him fear for his life as he was pinned to his car, according to unnamed government officials interviewed by the New York Times.
The officials, who were reportedly briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the Brown shooting, reportedly said that forensic tests performed by the FBI found Wilson's gun had been fired twice in the car. One bullet struck Brown in the arm, while the other missed.
The forensic evidence also found Brown's blood on the gun, the interior door panel of Wilson's vehicle, and on Wilson's uniform.
Wilson reportedly told officials that Brown attacked him, leaving a swelling on his face and cuts on his neck after multiple punches and scratches. This reported account contradicts what other eyewitnesses who saw the shooting have told media and investigators.
So far, the evidence in the federal investigation, officials told the New York Times, doesn't support civil rights charges against Wilson, although the investigation is still underway. To press charges, the Justice Department would need to clear the high legal bar of proving Wilson willfully violated Brown's civil rights by shooting him.