In what is already being cited by the media as a flashback to the events in Furguson, there has been another shooting in the St. Lois area involving a white police officer and a black teenager. This one has several twists, however, which at least initially make it sound like a different set of circumstances. But the resulting protests look eerily similar.
Another police-involved fatal shooting of a teenager, this time in south St. Louis not far from the Missouri Botanical Garden, led to hours of protests overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning as an angry crowd gathered quickly when news spread across social media.Another police-involved fatal shooting of a teenager, this time in south St. Louis not far from the Missouri Botanical Garden, led to hours of protests overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning as an angry crowd gathered quickly when news spread across social media…
Relatives and police identified the dead man as Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18.
The differences between this and the Michael Brown case become apparent fairly quickly as you work through the story. First of all, the officer was off duty and working a second job as a security officer. Also, the “armed” status of the teenager is described by police as being decidedly different, though there are those contesting that aspect of the report.
The teen had a gun and fired at least three shots at the officer, who returned fire, the chief said. The teenager attempted to fire more but his gun jammed, Dotson said.
The officer was unhurt. The officer fired 17 times, Dotson said. It is unclear how many times the teenager was struck…
Authorities found the gun, which appeared to have jammed after firing at least three rounds, at the scene, police said. Three bullets that had been fired toward the officer were also recovered. One bullet was found in a vehicle behind the officer. Trajectories showed they had been fired downhill at the officer, police said.
Police initially identified the gun as a 9 mm Ruger. But a police source told the Post-Dispatch that the gun Myers fired at the officer was a 9 mm Smith & Wesson, which was bought at Cabela’s in Hazelwood on May 5. It was then reported stolen Sept. 26 by a man from The Ville neighborhood. The owner told police that one of his sons stole the gun. When questioned, the son claimed the gun was stolen from him during a robbery that he did not report to police. It’s unclear how Myers acquired the weapon, police said.
Some are claiming that the teen was unarmed and only had a sandwich. And, in fact, the shooting took place near a shop where the counter worker reported that Myers had indeed purchased a turkey sandwich. He also said that Myers “didn’t have a gun” when he bought the sandwich, but it is not made clear how he could possibly have known that, nor how he ruled out the possibility that Myers had both a gun and a sandwich.
As usual, we’ll need to reserve final judgement until more facts are in. But if the police, including the off duty officer involved in the shooting, are trying to fake this one, they would almost certainly be found out. They say they have the gun. They say the gun fired three shots and was jammed. They claim to have all three of the bullets, including one which was fired into the car next to the officer. If the accusers who claim that Myers was unarmed are correct, such specific claims by the police are going to prove essentially impossible to hold up.
Also, the recent status of Myers in terms of criminal activity looks to be far more clear cut than in the Brown case. He was wearing a monitoring bracelet at the time of the shooting, the result of a previous court case involving a gun charge. The weapon fired at the officer was not legally owned and registered, but reported as being stolen one or more times, and it was “unclear how Myers acquired the weapon” according to officers on the scene.
Calls are already going out for a blue ribbon investigation of the off duty police officer, however. So buckle up, campers. I think we’re off on another long ride.