SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — An independent autopsy showed that a 7-year-old girl slain during a raid by a police officer's bullet was shot through the top of her head, not through her neck as police said, an attorney for the girl's family said Tuesday.
The report by pathologist Daniel Spitz bears out arguments by Aiyana Stanley-Jones' family that she was lying on a sofa in the living room of their downstairs flat when she was shot during a May 16 police raid, attorney Geoffrey Fieger told reporters Tuesday at his Southfield offices north of Detroit.
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Fieger also repeated statements he made two days after the shooting that video footage of the raid shows the shot was fired from the porch outside the two-story duplex on the city's east side.
Police said the girl was shot in the neck when an officer struggled with, or was jostled by, her grandmother inside the home.
"When officers entered the house, she was already shot," said Fieger, who was joined in Tuesday's press conference by Aiyana's parents and grandmother. "It's also clear there is no time for a scuffle."
Fieger hired Spitz, medical examiner for nearby Macomb County, to perform the independent autopsy. The Wayne County medical examiner's office listed a gunshot wound to the neck as causing Aiyana's death.
The Associated Press left telephone and e-mail messages Tuesday seeking comment from Detroit police. The department had been advised by city lawyers not to discuss the case after Fieger filed civil suits seeking monetary damages.
Michigan State Police are investigating Aiyana's shooting.
Fieger also released three artistic renderings Tuesday of the raid. One shows a small figure representing the 4-foot, 2-inch tall, 51-pound Aiyana lying on a sofa with her head close to the door. Another figure — that of her grandmother, Mertilla Jones — was lying in the opposite direction.
The rendering shows the figure of a police officer firing down at the girl's head from just outside the open screened door.
"He shot purposely," Fieger said. "I'm not suggesting he knew what he was shooting at. What he was aiming at, I can't tell you.
"The entire incident has been a cover up. The rest of the truth will come out."
The focus of the raid was 34-year-old Chauncey Owens, Aiyana's aunt's fiancee who was wanted in the May 14 shooting death of a 17-year-old outside a nearby convenience store.
Members of the department's Special Response Team tossed a flash-bang grenade into the downstairs' window of the house. Groups of officers entered the door leading into the downstairs unit and another going upstairs into a separate unit.
Owens was found upstairs. He is being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder in the slaying of Je'rean Blake.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.