Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

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Darren Wilson+ Holder + Protests in Ferguson, Missouri
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Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 13: Police Chief Thomas Jackson fields questions related to the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown during a press conference on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday. Ferguson has experienced three days of violent protests since the killing. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators raise their hands as they gather on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Capt. Ronald Johnson (Front, 2nd R) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, walks on West Florissant Avenue where demonstrators gather to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators raise gather at West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Capt. Ronald Johnson (3rd R) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, is taken photo with a demonstrator on West Florissant Avenue during the protest over the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Capt. Ronald Johnson (R) of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, talks to police officers standing outside a market where Michael Brown allegedly stole some cigars before being killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators hold up signs as they gather at West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old unarmed teen was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, UNITED STATES - AUGUST 15: Police Chief Ronald Johnson (C) speaks to media about the latest developments on killing of Michael Brown by police nearly a week ago in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, United States on August 15, 2014. Police in Ferguson have changed their procedure for dealing with the protests after being chastised for a heavy-handed approach which has resulted in four days of violence. Police cars and officers on foot led the way during a protest march. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Demonstrators raise their hands as they protest the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 15, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown was killed in broad daylight on August 9, 2014, with witnesses and law enforcement providing conflicting accounts of how the 18-year-old lost his life. AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)
Attorney Daryl D. Parks speaks about the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown during a news conference as Brown's stepfather Louis Head (2nd-R/blue shirt) and cousin Eric Davis (3rd-R/orange shirt), a cousin of Michael Brown, look on August 15, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown was killed in broad daylight on August 9, 2014 , with witnesses and law enforcement providing conflicting accounts of how the 18-year-old lost his life. AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators protest the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 15, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Michael Brown was killed in broad daylight on August 9, 2014, with witnesses and law enforcement providing conflicting accounts of how the 18-year-old lost his life. AFP PHOTO / Joshua LOTT (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)
Stills from camera http://t.co/FEcmKc3oGr
More from report http://t.co/7OyD2fgrI2
Page from police report http://t.co/xcz6nUKqY2
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 13: Police Chief Thomas Jackson fields questions related to the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown during a press conference on August 13, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer on Saturday. Ferguson has experienced three days of violent protests since the killing. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators take part in a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators take part in a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - AUGUST 15: Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks, raise their hands during a rally on West Florissant Avenue to protest the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 15, 2014. Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri on August 09, 2014. (Photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder leaves a news conference after announcing the Justice Department will launch a 'patterns and practice' investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department at the department's headquarters September 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. Holder announced a federal civil rights investigation of the Furguson, Missouri, police department after white officer Darren Wilson from shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michale Brown last month. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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BY JIM SUHR

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - A police officer whose shooting death of an unarmed 18-year-old ignited racial upheaval in a St. Louis suburb has been characterized as either an aggressor whose deadly gunfire constituted a daylight execution or a law enforcer wrongly maligned for just doing his job.

An incomplete picture of Texas-born Ferguson officer Darren Wilson has emerged since Aug. 9, when authorities say the white six-year police veteran killed Michael Brown during a confrontation in the predominantly black city where all but three of the 53 police officers are white.

The Brown family's attorneys have labeled Wilson as a murderer, though the investigation continues and no charges have been filed. The 28-year-old officer has gone underground since the shooting, with relatives contacted by The Associated Press refusing to reveal his whereabouts or discuss the shooting or Wilson's background.

But snippets of his life have emerged. His parents were married only four years before divorcing in 1989 in Texas. Court records say he divorced last November. His mother, a convicted forger and alleged con artist, died 12 years ago. Wilson got a commendation in February from the Ferguson police force, four years into his job there.

Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting

An online fundraising drive on Wilson's behalf as of Thursday had drawn more than $77,000 in donations for the tall, slender and blond-haired cop. And a longtime friend - former high school classmate and hockey buddy Jake Shepard - publicly has come to Wilson's defense, insisting in interviews that the shy Wilson would never maliciously take a life and fears possible retribution.

Having talked to Wilson since the shooting, Shepard said, "I think he's kind of struggling a little bit, but I think he's doing OK."

"He didn't really want to talk much about it," Shepard, also 28, said of Brown's death. "But I can tell you for sure it was not racially motivated. He's not the type of person to harbor any hate for anybody. He was always nice, respectable and well-mannered, a gentleman. He doesn't have anything bad to say about anybody, ever. He's very genuine."

Similar depictions of Wilson, who has been on paid administrative leave since Brown's death, have come from his boss, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson.

During a Ferguson City Council meeting in February, Wilson got special recognition from Jackson for what the chief said then was his role in responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle, then struggling with the driver and detaining him for arrest until help arrived. Jackson said the suspect was preparing a large quantity of marijuana for sale. His proclamation in hand, according a video of the meeting obtained Tuesday by the AP, Wilson returned to his seat with a broad grin.

"He was a gentle, quiet man," Jackson told reporters last Friday while publicly identifying Wilson, a four-year veteran of the department after spending two policing in nearby Jennings, as the officer who shot Brown, noting that Wilson has no prior disciplinary record. Calling Wilson "distinguished" and "a gentleman," Jackson added that "he is, he has been, an excellent officer."

Online court records show that Wilson's mother - Tonya Durso, also known as Tonya Harris - pleaded guilty in 2001 to a dozen felony stealing and forgery counts in Missouri's St. Charles County just west of St. Louis and was sentenced to five years on probation, with the judge suspending a five-year prison sentence. Durso was 35 when she died in 2002, and Wilson was placed under the guardianship of Tyler Harris until a St. Charles County judge dissolved that in mid-2004.

Wilson, who has Missouri hunting and fishing licenses, did not answer the AP's knock Tuesday on his door at his brick, ranch-style home in Missouri's Crestwood, a largely white St. Louis suburb some 18 miles southwest of Ferguson.

More on Protests in Ferguson:

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Michael Brown's funeral - Ferguson
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Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown,18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: A St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap at rests on top of the casket of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown,18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Director Spike Lee takes a picture of a black St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap that rests on top of the casket of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown,18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Robert Cohen-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: People raise their arms during the funeral of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Photos surround the casket of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church awaiting the start of his funeral on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown,18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: People gather for the funeral of Michael Brown inside Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown,18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by a Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Robert Cohen-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: A man reacts during funeral services for Michael Brown at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Robert Cohen-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: The casket leaves the church at the funeral of Michael Brown at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Michael Brown, Sr., father of Michael Brown holding young girl, heads into Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of his son on Monday, August 25, 2014, in St. Louis, MO. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male, was fatally gunned down by a White police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9 in Ferguson, MO. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Guests wait in line to enter the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, walks from her son's grave following a service at Saint Peters Cemetery on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: A hearse sits in front of the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Guests wait in line to enter the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: A family member wearing a shirt bearing a photo of Michael Brown, heads into Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of Michael Brown on Monday, August 25, 2014, in St. Louis, MO. Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American male, was fatally gunned down by a White police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9 in Ferguson, MO. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Guests wait in line to enter the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church for the funeral of Michael Brown on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Rev. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson touch the casket during the funeral for Michael Brown at St. Peters Cemetery on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Richard Perry-Pool/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 25: Under a crush of mourners and media the remains of Michael Brown are loaded into a hearse following his funeral services at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church on August 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Michael Brown, an 18 year-old unarmed teenager, was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the nearby town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. His death caused several days of violent protests along with rioting and looting in Ferguson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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