Crime & Justice

Autopsy by coroner sheds light on Sacramento police killing

Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers in Meadowview.
Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by Sacramento police officers in Meadowview.
Courtesy of Sonia Lewis via Capital Public Radio

An official autopsy from the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Sacramento calls into question the conclusions drawn by an independent doctor hired by the man's family.

The autopsy released Tuesday by Sacramento police says 22-year-old Stephon Clark was shot seven times, not eight.

A pathologist retained by the Sacramento County coroner also says the family's pathologist mistook an exit wound for an entry wound, leaving the impression that police first shot Clark from the side or back.

The county's reviewer says Clark was most likely shot as he approached police — a conclusion that's consistent with the officers' story.

The autopsy also says Clark was legally drunk and had traces of marijuana, cocaine and codeine in his system when was shot in his grandparents' backyard.

The officers were responding to a report of someone breaking car windows when the shooting occurred in March.