FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) -Much has been said about how Mike Brown, died at the hand of a Ferguson police officer in the past four days.
We found out more about how he lived Tuesday night.
Friends and family knew him best as “Big Mike”.
He was big in more ways than one, he said.
It was a calm night at the Ferguson Police Department: a handful of demonstrators as opposed to hundreds.
Those who knew Brown saw it as more of a reflection of the quiet, but outgoing 18-year-old, with plans to start a business and dreams of becoming a star.
It is their heartbreaking nightly ritual, Michael Brown’s sisters, cousins and aunt, relit candles on the very spot he died on Canfield Drive, Tuesday night.
“For my nephew,” his aunt said.
Big Mike was a big brother to two little sisters and a brother.
He had a big smile and at close to 6’4” he seemed bigger than life to those who knew him.
“Just a sweet kid. Big guy, yes, you know I had to look up,” said Markita Davis, whose cousin lived a few doors from Brown.
“A great kid, a great kid… he gave one of those smiles like big mike always did,” said neighbor Markese Mull, recalling when he last saw Brown: Brown was walking to a Quick Trip store.
A few minutes later, Mull saw Brown’s distraught mother and Brown’s body in the street.
It was the same kid who would help unload Mull’s work truck.
“I started a janitorial floor-tech business and he was like, ‘when you going to hire me?’” Mull laughed.
Brown also was like a big brother to the two sons of Markita Davis’ cousin.
“She’s a single mom. She has two boys. He’d take them to the store; just do little things with him. He was just a sweet kid, who didn’t deserve this,” Davis said.
Just before his death he’d begun recording rap music at his grandmother’s house.
True, there were songs that including profanity laced lyrics common in rap.
But he also recorded music about his family.
Mull remembered challenging Brown to “bust a rhyme” about getting young people to vote – on the spot.
“Doing something, see something positive. ‘Can you bust something positive?’ He’s like, ‘yeah, I got you.’ On the drop of a dime he did it,” Mull beamed. “The thing is he made a mark in history and not just a mark on the street.”
Brown would be in his first week at Vatterott College, looking to learn the heating and cooling trade while also working on his music.