Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson opened up for the first time in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, part of which aired Tuesday evening, less than 24 hours after it was announced a grand jury would not indict him for the death of Michael Brown.
Wilson said there was "no way" Brown put his hands up before Wilson fired his weapon, as some witnesses have described. Wilson said he thought, "he will kill me if he gets to me" when he saw Brown come toward him.
Wilson: “When he stopped, he turned and faced me, and as he does that his right hand immediately goes into his waistband, and his left hand is a fist at his side, and he starts charging me.”
Stephanopoulos: “What did you think when you saw that?”
Wilson: “I didn’t know, I mean, my initial thought was, is there a weapon in there?”
Stephanopoulos: “Even though he hadn’t pulled something out earlier when he was confronting you.”
Wilson: “Yeah, it was still just the unknown. And again, we’re taught to, let me see your hands.”
Stephanopoulos: “As you know, some of the eyewitnesses have said, when at that moment he turned around, he turned around and put his hands up.”
Wilson: “That would be incorrect. Incorrect.”
Stephanopoulos: “No way?”
Wilson: “No way.”
Stephanopoulos: “So, you say he starts to run, does a [unintelligible], starts to come toward you.”
Wilson: “Mmm hmm.”
Wilson: “At that time I gave myself another mental check: Can I shoot this guy? You know? Legally, can I? And the question that I answered myself was, I have to. If I don’t, he will kill me if he gets to me.”
George: “Even though he’s what, 35-40 feet away?”
Wilson: “Once he’s coming that direction, why, if he hasn’t stopped yet, when’s he gonna stop?”
Wilson said the incident with Brown was the first time he'd ever used his gun. When Stephanopoulos asked if there was any way the incident could've been handled differently, Wilson replied, "no."
Wilson said he has a "clean conscience" about the way he handled the incident with Brown.
“I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened," Wilson said.
"The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right," Wilson added.
In an excerpt of the interview aired on "Nightline" early Wednesday morning, Wilson also responded to a statement released by Brown's family after the grand jury decision was announced that said they were "profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions."
“I think those are grieving parents who are mourning the loss of their son. I don’t think there’s anything I could say, but again I’m sorry that their son lost their life," Wilson said when Stephanopoulos asked him about the statement. "It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s nothing you could say that could make a parent feel better.”
Asked whether he felt remorse for killing Brown, Wilson said that "everyone feels remorse when life's lost."
"I never wanted to take anybody's life. That's not the good part of the job, that's the bad part of the job," Wilson said. He added that if Brown would have moved out of the street and onto the sidewalk, the incident never would have happened.
Wilson said that the most important thing people should know about him is that he was acting professionally during the interaction with Brown.
"I just did my job," he said. "I did what I was paid to do and that was my job. I followed my training, the training took over, the training led me to what happened. I maintained the integrity of this investigation, and that's it."
Wilson has been keeping a low profile since he shot and killed Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager, in Missouri on Aug. 9. Wilson's lawyers released a statement Monday night in reaction to the grand jury's decision, thanking the officer's supporters and saying any further "commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media."
Stephanopoulos teased the interview earlier Tuesday, saying there was "no question off limits."
A few days before, it was reported that Wilson had been meeting with network anchors in anticipation of giving an interview after the announcement of the grand jury's decision. CNN's Brian Stelter reported that Wilson met with Stephanopoulos, NBC News’ Matt Lauer, CBS News’ Scott Pelley, and CNN's Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.
Below, a timeline of what happened after Brown was shot:
This story has been updated to include comments from Wilson that aired Wednesday morning.
See more updates from Ferguson below:
11/30/2014 3:28 PM EST
Wilson Resigned Over Safety Concerns, Lawyer Says
he white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, resigned from the force without any severance deal, the mayor of the St. Louis suburb said on Sunday.
The officer, Darren Wilson, announced his resignation late Saturday, saying he feared for his own safety and that of his fellow police officers after a grand jury decided not to indict him in the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
11/30/2014 7:27 AM EST
10 People Arrested During Portland's Ferguson Protest
PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Authorities say 10 people have been arrested in Portland during a protest related to the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.
The city police bureau says the arrests came Saturday night "after a large group of protesters laid down in the street and refused lawful orders to clear the roadway."
Earlier, the gathering over the Missouri shooting death of a black man by a white police officer included a speech by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
The Oregonian reports that Jackson urged nonviolence and said the resignation of the officer was "a step in the right direction," but that much remained to be done to achieve justice for the victim.
Police say that after Jackson left, some protesters marched around downtown and sporadically disrupted traffic.
Officials say some bottles were thrown at officers and a police car was damaged.
The nine adults and one juvenile arrested will face charges that include disorderly conduct.
11/29/2014 10:15 PM EST
11/29/2014 10:01 PM EST
Large Police Presence
11/29/2014 9:42 PM EST
Saturday Night Protest In Ferguson
11/29/2014 9:26 PM EST
Armed 'Oath Keepers' Plan To Protest
The NYT reports that armed members of the group "Oath Keepers" are in Ferguson to offer their help protecting businesses from damage.
From the NYT:
The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not describe themselves that way — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights....
But on Saturday, with the county police said to be threatening the Oath Keepers with arrest, the volunteers decided to abandon their posts and instead protest against the authorities. Late in the day on Saturday, a protest was being planned for that night.
Read more here.
11/29/2014 6:56 PM EST
Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department
Darren Wilson has resigned from Ferguson police department.
Read his resignation letter below, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."
11/27/2014 12:55 PM EST
Murals In Ferguson
The group that's out painting right now also did this mural. It's a block or so from the Ferguson PD pic.twitter.com/tqgIUhR8C0— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) November 27, 2014
11/27/2014 11:28 AM EST
Ferguson Protests Hit Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Unrest following the Ferguson grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson has hit the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Using #StopTheParade as a rallying cry, protesters attempted to disrupt the annual parade in New York City. According to Mashable, police arrested some of the demonstrators just as the parade kicked off.
11/27/2014 11:19 AM EST
Ferguson Library Stays Open Throughout The Protests
MSNBC's Steve Kornacki reports on Ferguson's public library, which has remained open throughout the protests.
Over 50 volunteers helped staff the library, which provided free lunches to children as schools remained closed. The library also offered help to businesses who suffered damage during the protests following the grand jury's decision.
"We have a dramatic setting right now but it is not different than what libraries do every day," library director Scott Bonner said.