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Aaron Brown , 18
Alexandria, Virginia
February 25, 2006

Agencies: Alexandria Police Department Virginia

Last updated: 11 months ago

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At a separate news conference, Brown's parents said they met with Sengel late Monday to discuss his findings. In a voice that wavered on tears, the victim's father, Jeff Brown, told reporters that their meeting was "disappointing but not totally unexpected."

"We take exception to his conclusion but need to have access to all the evidence to proceed," Brown said, adding that they will continue to pursue justice for their son, possibly in the form of a lawsuit. The family planned a candlelight vigil last night in the IHOP parking lot.

The Browns appeared with their attorney, Patrick Malone, and took no questions.

"As we understand the reasoning of [Sengel], he believes the event that caused the death of Aaron Brown was a big misunderstanding between Officer Stowe, who thought the Jeep was trying to run him down, and the driver, who was trying to avoid Officer Stowe," Malone said. "We do not and cannot accept that this was just a misunderstanding."

Sengel said that two "starkly different accounts" emerged from the investigation.

The first, supported by later accounts of passengers, was that Stowe shot at the Jeep to prevent it from escaping and that the officer was in no imminent danger, Sengel said.

But a wealth of physical evidence shows that version to be "impossible," Sengel said in the report, which he released to the public. The evidence does, however, match what other witnesses said they saw that morning, original statements from passengers and Stowe's account: that he fired after the Jeep changed course and headed toward him, the prosecutor said.

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