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Autopsy Finds Milwaukee Man Killed By Police Shot in Chest, Arm

The autopsy appears to back up the police account of the shooting of an allegedly armed man. The shooting sparked protests that turned violent.
Image: Sylville Smith
Family members of Sylville Smith gather where he was shot and killed by Milwaukee police in Milwaukee, Aug. 14.Jeffrey Phelps / AP

An autopsy has confirmed that an allegedly armed man who was shot and killed by police during a foot chase was shot in the chest and arm, the medical examiner's office said. The findings appear to back up the authorities' version of events.

The fatal shooting of Sylville Smith, 23, on Aug. 13 sparked violent protests in which shots were fired at police and several buildings were burned in the Sherman Park area of the city. The National Guard was activated but not deployed, and a curfew was put in place.

Related: Milwaukee Mostly Calm Amid Curfew Imposed After Violence

Police said Smith was armed with a loaded handgun, turned toward the officer and was a "credible threat" to the officer who fired.

The officer who shot Smith, who has not been identified, was wearing a body camera but authorities have not released the footage, saying the shooting is under investigation and the video is evidence.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he saw a still image from the video that clearly shows Smith had the gun in his hand when he was shot. The clip does not have audio and lasts 25 seconds. A state agency is conducting the investigation into the shooting.

Family members of Sylville Smith gather where he was shot and killed by Milwaukee Police in Milwaukee, Aug. 14.Jeffrey Phelps / AP

The medical examiner’s office has not released an autopsy report but confirmed to NBC News Friday that Smith was shot in the chest and the right arm.

The officer who shot Smith was identified as a 24-year-old African American man, but his name has not been released.

Smith's sister told NBC affiliate WTMJ he was not a threat when he was shot and police should not have killed him. Smith's brother objected to what he said was the authorities' and media's portrayal of Smith as a criminal.

Police said the fatal shooting happened after police pulled over what was described as a suspicious rental car, and the two people inside got out and fled in different directions on foot.

Police said in a statement at the time of the shooting that the person who was killed had a lengthy arrest record. The handgun was reported stolen in a March burglary, police said.