St. Louis Cops: Dead Teen Had Gunshot Residue

Say tests prove Vonderrit Myers fired in fatal exchange with off-duty cop
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 15, 2014 8:05 AM CDT
St. Louis Cops: Dead Teen Had Gunshot Residue
A boy lights candles during a vigil to remember Vonderrit Myers on Oct. 9, 2014, in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Gunshot residue was on the hand, waistband, and shirt of an 18-year-old man killed by a St. Louis police officer last week, authorities said yesterday. Police union leaders said the lab test by the Missouri State Highway Patrol dispels claims that Vonderrit Myers didn't shoot at the officer on Oct. 8, initiating a fatal exchange of gunfire. St. Louis Police Officers' Association business manager Jeff Roorda cited other evidence against Myers: social media photos that Roorda said show Myers holding three guns, one of them a 9mm Smith & Wesson. Roorda said it's an exact match for the gun found on Myers after his death. "This is a distinct-looking gun, not one seen on the streets very often," he said.

Ballistic evidence shows Myers fired three shots before his gun jammed, say police, adding that the gun was reported stolen on Sept. 26. Myers' family contends that he was unarmed and that the officer, who was in uniform but was off-duty and working for a security company at the time, mistook a sandwich Myers was holding for a gun. Myers' father, Vonderrit Myers Sr., declined to comment. A family attorney dismissed the piecemeal development, saying, "When somebody's son is dead, don't they deserve a full and thorough investigation?" Roorda called political leaders who blamed police for Myers' death "irresponsible and despicable. The allegation that the young man had nothing but a sandwich was a silly allegation proven quickly to be untrue," he said. (More Vonderrit Myers stories.)

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