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Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed 18-year-old has lived quiet, sometimes turbulent life

  • Polic Shooting Missouri-1.jpg

    In this Feb. 11, 2014 image from video released by the City of Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson attends a city council meeting in Ferguson. Police identified Wilson, 28, as the police officer who shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014, sparking over a week of protests in the suburban St. Louis town. (AP Photo/City of Ferguson) (The Associated Press)

  • Police Shooting Missouri Rally-2.jpg

    Protester Hana Kato, of Tacoma, Wash., holds a sign that reads "Arrest Darren Wilson" as she attends an evening rally Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Tacoma, Wash. Wilson has been identified as the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, an event that has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) (The Associated Press)

Vastly different characterizations have emerged of a white suburban St. Louis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black 18-year-old.

Although protesters in Ferguson have called Darren Wilson a murderer, his supporters say he's being wrongly maligned for doing his job.

Wilson has been out of public sight since shortly after Michael Brown's Aug. 9 death, and his family isn't talking.

The Brown family's attorneys have labeled Wilson as a killer, though no charges have been filed.

But a former high school classmate, Jake Shepard, says Wilson isn't racially motivated, doesn't harbor hate and was always respectable, well-mannered and "genuine."

Wilson divorced last November. His mother was a convicted forger who died in 2002. Wilson got a commendation in February from the Ferguson police force.

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