Rayshard Brooks' Death Ruled a Homicide by Medical Examiner as 911 Call Is Released

"Mr. Brooks had two gunshot wounds of his back that created organ injuries and blood loss," the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said in a release

Rayshard Brooks
Rayshard Brooks. Photo: Facebook

The death of Rayshard Brooks, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Atlanta on Friday night, has been ruled a homicide.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner said in a press release Monday that Brooks' autopsy was conducted on Sunday, revealing that he "had two gunshot wounds of his back that created organ injuries and blood loss."

The medical examiner's report said that Brooks' cause of death was gunshot wounds of the back, and that his manner of death was a homicide.

Brooks, 27, was killed after police received a call about a man asleep in his car in a Wendy's drive-thru, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting an independent investigation into the shooting. The man was later identified as Brooks.

According to the GBI, police officers and Brooks engaged in a struggle during a sobriety check, resulting with an officer shooting Brooks as he ran away with one of their tasers. Brooks later died at the hospital after undergoing surgery.

Audio from a 911 call before Brooks was shot was released on Monday.

Rayshard Brooks
Rayshard Brooks and his family. GoFundMe

In the call, a woman can be heard telling a dispatcher that a man who "might be intoxicated" was in "the middle of my drive-thru."

"I tried to wake him up, but he's parked in the middle of the drive-thru, so I don't know what's wrong," the witness said, according to the audio obtained by CNN.

The dispatcher asked if he was breathing, and the witness said that he had seemed to acknowledge her but did not move. When the dispatcher asked if the man appeared to have any weapons, the witness said, "no, no. I think he's intoxicated."

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said that it is "difficult" to fathom how the situation ended in death, given Brooks' apparent cooperative "demeanor" with police in footage of the encounter.

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"I thought that it was cordial, he was very cooperative. He answered the questions that the officers asked," Howard said in an interview with CNN on Sunday. "He did not seem to present any kind of threat to anyone, and so the fact that it would escalate to his death just seems unreasonable."

Howard added to the outlet that this was "not the kind of conversation and incident that should have led to someone's death."

Garrett Rolfe, the officer who shot Brooks, was fired from the Atlanta Police Department. Devin Brosnan, the other officer involved in the shooting, was placed on administrative duty, according to CNN.

Police chief Erika Shields stepped down from her position after Brooks' death.

"For more than two decades, I have served alongside some of the finest men and women in the Atlanta Police Department. Out of a deep and abiding love for this City and this department, I offered to step aside as police chief," Shields said in a statement on Saturday.

"APD has my full support, and Mayor Bottoms has my support on the future direction of this department," Shields added. "I have faith in the Mayor, and it is time for the city to move forward and build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

Rolfe could face charges of murder, felony murder, or involuntary manslaughter, Howard added to CNN.

The case will go to prosecutors once the GBI's investigation is complete.

Brooks' family lawyer, L. Chris Stewart, told CNN that "a taser is not a deadly weapon" in Georgia.

"You can’t have it both ways in law enforcement," he said. "You can’t say a Taser is a non-lethal weapon ... but when an African American grabs it and runs with it, now it's some kind of deadly, lethal weapon that calls for you to unload on somebody."

Brooks is survived by his wife Tomika Miller and four kids: Mekai, 13; Blessing, 8; Memory, 2; and Dream, 1. A GoFundMe campaign set up for the family has raised $108,035 of a $125,000 goal as of Monday.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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