Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson opened up for the first time in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, part of which aired Tuesday evening, less than 24 hours after it was announced a grand jury would not indict him for the death of Michael Brown.
Wilson said there was "no way" Brown put his hands up before Wilson fired his weapon, as some witnesses have described. Wilson said he thought, "he will kill me if he gets to me" when he saw Brown come toward him.
Wilson: “When he stopped, he turned and faced me, and as he does that his right hand immediately goes into his waistband, and his left hand is a fist at his side, and he starts charging me.”
Stephanopoulos: “What did you think when you saw that?”
Wilson: “I didn’t know, I mean, my initial thought was, is there a weapon in there?”
Stephanopoulos: “Even though he hadn’t pulled something out earlier when he was confronting you.”
Wilson: “Yeah, it was still just the unknown. And again, we’re taught to, let me see your hands.”
Stephanopoulos: “As you know, some of the eyewitnesses have said, when at that moment he turned around, he turned around and put his hands up.”
Wilson: “That would be incorrect. Incorrect.”
Stephanopoulos: “No way?”
Wilson: “No way.”
Stephanopoulos: “So, you say he starts to run, does a [unintelligible], starts to come toward you.”
Wilson: “Mmm hmm.”
Wilson: “At that time I gave myself another mental check: Can I shoot this guy? You know? Legally, can I? And the question that I answered myself was, I have to. If I don’t, he will kill me if he gets to me.”
George: “Even though he’s what, 35-40 feet away?”
Wilson: “Once he’s coming that direction, why, if he hasn’t stopped yet, when’s he gonna stop?”
Wilson said the incident with Brown was the first time he'd ever used his gun. When Stephanopoulos asked if there was any way the incident could've been handled differently, Wilson replied, "no."
Wilson said he has a "clean conscience" about the way he handled the incident with Brown.
“I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened," Wilson said.
"The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right," Wilson added.
In an excerpt of the interview aired on "Nightline" early Wednesday morning, Wilson also responded to a statement released by Brown's family after the grand jury decision was announced that said they were "profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions."
“I think those are grieving parents who are mourning the loss of their son. I don’t think there’s anything I could say, but again I’m sorry that their son lost their life," Wilson said when Stephanopoulos asked him about the statement. "It wasn’t the intention of that day. It’s what occurred that day. And there’s nothing you could say that could make a parent feel better.”
Asked whether he felt remorse for killing Brown, Wilson said that "everyone feels remorse when life's lost."
"I never wanted to take anybody's life. That's not the good part of the job, that's the bad part of the job," Wilson said. He added that if Brown would have moved out of the street and onto the sidewalk, the incident never would have happened.
Wilson said that the most important thing people should know about him is that he was acting professionally during the interaction with Brown.
"I just did my job," he said. "I did what I was paid to do and that was my job. I followed my training, the training took over, the training led me to what happened. I maintained the integrity of this investigation, and that's it."
Wilson has been keeping a low profile since he shot and killed Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black teenager, in Missouri on Aug. 9. Wilson's lawyers released a statement Monday night in reaction to the grand jury's decision, thanking the officer's supporters and saying any further "commentary on this matter will be done in the appropriate venue and not through the media."
Stephanopoulos teased the interview earlier Tuesday, saying there was "no question off limits."
A few days before, it was reported that Wilson had been meeting with network anchors in anticipation of giving an interview after the announcement of the grand jury's decision. CNN's Brian Stelter reported that Wilson met with Stephanopoulos, NBC News’ Matt Lauer, CBS News’ Scott Pelley, and CNN's Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.
Below, a timeline of what happened after Brown was shot:
This story has been updated to include comments from Wilson that aired Wednesday morning.
See more updates from Ferguson below: