Sacramento resident Stephon Clark was hit by eight bullets – six times in the back – when police fired on him in the backyard of his grandparents’ home in Sacramento on March 18, according to the private autopsy performed by renowned pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu. A new Sacramento Bee animation gives a three-dimensional view of the autopsy diagrams.
The Bee animation (above) was created by McClatchy motion graphics producer Sohail Al-Jamea based on diagrams from the autopsy released by Omalu on Friday. Al-Jamea plotted the wound locations from the 2-D autopsy diagram onto a 3-D model of a human body in the Autodesk Maya computer graphics program.
Sacramento police encountered Clark on that Sunday in March while responding to a call about a man breaking car windows. It is unknown if Clark was the man breaking windows, but a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department helicopter located him in a nearby backyard and reported he had used a "toolbar" to break a window there.
Police confronted Clark in the driveway of his grandparents’ home and chased him into the backyard, where they shot at him 20 times. Omalu's autopsy report found Clark likely lived for 3 to 10 minutes after the shooting. Police did not immediately render aid, citing the need to ensure Clark was no longer a threat.
The private autopsy released March 30 by his family’s legal team increased tensions in a city already on edge about the shooting of the unarmed black man.
The private review theorized that Clark was not facing officers when they opened fire and hit him first in the side. The force of that round spun him around with his back to officers, and six rounds penetrated his back moving in a forward trajectory, according to Omalu.
The last shot could have struck his left thigh as Clark was falling or had fallen, Omalu said.
The private autopsy required some clarification after its release. The lawyer for Clark's family clarified where he was shot after two sets of conflicting autopsy drawings were released last week.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Clark family, confirmed Monday to The Bee that an erroneous set of autopsy drawings was distributed and had remained on the attorney's website over the weekend.
Those drawings misplaced the location of the bullet that struck Clark on the side near his shoulder. That bullet hit Clark on his left side, according to the family’s pathologist, but the erroneous set of drawings showed him being struck on the right side.