Darren Wilson resigns from Ferguson Police Department (VIDEO)

Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, resigned from his position Saturday, citing threats of violence.

Rumors of resigning surfaced days before a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict the 28-year-old policeman.

In a telephone interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wilson said he resigned after the police department told him it had received threats that violence would ensue if he remained an employee.

“I’m resigning of my own free will,” he said. “I’m not willing to let someone else get hurt because of me.”

He said resigning was “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”

Wilson’s resignation letter reads, in part:

“I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal.”

The newspaper reported that Wilson earned an annual salary of $45,302, however, he said he has not received a severance package, although he said he may negotiate with the department in hopes of receiving one.

Also, he said he’s been told he is not the target of any ongoing internal police investigation.

[ St. Louis Post-Dispatch ]