SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Tensions are running high in Sacramento after an independent autopsy found an unarmed man was shot multiple times in the back.
Dr. Bennet Omalu announced on Friday that there were six shots to the back and neck of Stephon Clark. One gunshot wound was to his side and another went through his leg.
“He was not facing officers during the first hit,” Omalu said of the March 18 police shooting.
Omalu said it took between three and 10 minutes for Clark to internally suffocate as he bled to death and his brain lost oxygen.
The independent autopsy was requested by Clark’s family who has retained a legal team for a potential lawsuit.
The Sacramento County coroner has yet to publicly release its findings in the shooting that has prompted more than a week of protests in California’s capital.
Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Clark’s family, stood alongside Omalu on Friday at the Southside Christian Center as the doctor carefully outlined conclusions from the results of the autopsy.
Omalu found Clark was hit a total of eight times by bullets fired from two Sacramento Police officers. Six shots struck Clark in the back directly, while one hit the side and back and one hit his leg.
“Death was not instantaneous,” Omalu said.
Aerial video and body camera footage from the officers released by the Sacramento Police Department last week showed Clark’s body on his right side with his back facing the officers after the shooting. The majority of the shots that struck Clark were on that back right side.
In all, investigators say approximately 20 shots were fired at Clark by the two officers. Body camera footage showed the confrontation with Clark lasted well under a minute. Five seconds passed between one officer seeing an object, yelling “gun,” the two officers ducking behind a house for cover, then re-emerging to fire those shots at Clark.
Sacramento Police released a statement that read in part, “Further comment by the Sacramento Police Department prior to the release of the Coroner’s report along with the official review by the Sacramento County District Attorney and the California Department of Justice would be inappropriate at this time.”
Earlier this week, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office invited the California Department of Justice to help with the investigation.