How exactly the altercation began isn't clear, beyond Dorian Johnson's account that Wilson must have been frustrated when he tried to open the cruiser door and it ricocheted off Brown and bounced back to him. Johnson says Wilson then reached out the window and grabbed Brown by the neck. This strikes me as unreasonable given that Brown is 6'4". After wrestling Brown by the neck, Johnson says Wilson tried to pull Brown into the car by the arm.
The other known eyewitnesses begin their accounts at some point during the ensuing struggle at the vehicle window. The cops say Brown went for Wilson's weapon, an action that is a serious felony in Missouri. Johnson says Wilson just pulled out his gun and shot Brown at the same moment he said he was going to shoot. Johnson says Brown was shot and bleeding when he broke free and ran. The Baden medical examination found no evidence on Brown's body that any of the wounds were from close range. Two other eyewitnesses (Crenshaw and Mitchell) corroborate a shot going off during the struggle, as does the police account (to the extent there is a police account).
The police had reported that Wilson was treated for facial swelling and released from the hospital. A recent leak from 'police sources' suggests that Wilson sustain a broken orbital bone in the fight.
Brown fled on foot for about 30-35 feet from the vehicle. Wilson shot, but did not hit Brown in the back. Crenshaw, Mitchell and Johnson say Brown's body twitched as if he was hit in the back, Brown turned put his hands up and said don't shoot, but Wilson shot, many times.
A bystander at the scene is overheard describing the shooting differently -- that Wilson had pursued on foot, and that Brown turned back to confront Wilson. This account has Brown charging as Wilson shoots and Brown 'kept coming.' A reporter for the St. Louis Dispatch has leaked that the police have up to a dozen eyewitnesses to corroborate the Brown bullrush account. While the shots were not fired from close enough to leave burn marks on Brown's body, the bullrush account has Brown falling dead within close proximity of Wilson.
These are the dueling accounts as I understand them. At this point, it will come down to dueling witnesses, if in fact the police do have witnesses that support the bullrush account. Perhaps there are eyewitnesses we don't know about yet with different accounts. Perhaps someone witnessed the beginning of the stop, including the beginning of the altercation at the car.
I don't blame people for not knowing these details, as the stories have been hard to find, from disparate sources at disparate times. Folks shouldn't be quick to rush to judgment in this case.
BTW, the looters are completely out of line.