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Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A state autopsy released on Thursday found that Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot by North Carolina sheriff's deputies in April, died of a gunshot to the back of his head, confirming the conclusion of an independent autopsy commissioned by the family, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The report, which lists "homicide" as the cause of death, comes less than a month after a North Carolina prosecutor concluded that the shooting was "justified."

Details: The autopsy also found a non-fatal gunshot wound and several wounds on Brown's right arm.

  • A toxicology report that was also released found methamphetamine in Brown's system, but it said the level was "low and likely did not play a role in Mr. Brown's cause or manner of death," CNN notes.

What they're saying: "The autopsy results prove what we've always known to be true: Pasquotank County deputies executed Andrew Brown Jr. with a kill shot to the back of the head," attorneys for the Brown family said in a statement.

  • "The false narrative that [District Attorney Andrew Womble] has attempted to weave is completely discredited by this autopsy report."

Womble last month said Brown ignored commands and put his car in drive, turning it "directly at law enforcement officers" who had surrounded the vehicle after attempting to serve drug-related search and arrest warrants.

Go deeper

Aug 26, 2021 - Health

Episcopal bishop mandates COVID vaccines for all Maine clergy and staff

Bishop Thomas James Brown, the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland, Maine, last year. Photo: Derek Davis/Staff/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Episcopal Diocese of Maine is mandating COVID-19 vaccines for all clergy and diocesan staff.

Why it matters: Maine Bishop Thomas Brown's decision marks one of the first vaccine mandates for clergy in the U.S., per the Religious News Service.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.