The police say gunshot residue and ballistics evidence shows 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers Jr. fired at St. Louis officer during a “physical altercation” before he was fatally shot near Shaw Boulevard. The teen’s family claims he was unarmed and out buying a sandwich when an officer accosted them during a “pedestrian check.”
Here’s more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Although police officials have already said that Myers fired at least three shots at an off-duty police officer before the officer returned fire, the newly released evidence could further dispel claims by friends and family that Myers was holding a sandwich, not a gun, when he was shot. The officer, who has not been named, was working for a private security company in the Shaw neighborhood.
Myers’ Oct. 8 death sparked protests in Shaw and fueled area-wide protests resulting from the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.
The Missouri Highway Patrol analysis found gunshot residue on Myers’ hands, on his shirt and inside the waistband and pockets of his jeans. Police said that although gunshot residue can be present on anyone near a shooting, the results show levels consistent with Myers being the shooter, because the police officer was standing too far away.
Ballistics evidence also revealed three bullets that hit the ground where the officer was trying to take cover matched Myers’ gun. A round found inside a car behind the officer was too badly damaged to be able to to match it to his gun, however, it did not match the type of bullets the officer fired, police said.
Fox2Now obtained photographs of Vonderrit Myers Jr. showing off his handguns on social media just before the shooting. That page has since been taken down. Myers had three handguns in his lap, including a 9mm Smith & Wesson semi-automatic.
Some people have drawn parallels between Michael Brown’s shooting by Ferguson officer Darren Wilson and Vonderrit Myers Jr.’s shooting but there are distinct differences. The biggest difference is that Michael Brown was unarmed.
Here’s the press release from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department:
Vonderrit Myers Jr. with guns on social media: