An 18-year-old high school student was allegedly shot at 17 times by an off-duty police officer in St. Louis last night – less than 10 miles from where teen Michael Brown was shot in August.
Vonderrit Myers Jr. was walking down a street with two friends, reports the Daily Mail, when an unidentified 32-year-old off-duty cop -- who was working at his second job for a private security company -- says he approached them in his vehicle. According to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, one of the three young men tried to run away before his friends followed his lead.
Police say the officer then got out of his car and began chasing the teens. Myers and the officer reportedly got into a one-on-one physical confrontation and Dotson says the victim then reached for his gun and shot at the officer at least three times.
The cop then allegedly returned fire, shooting at Myers 17 times, though it isn’t clear how many times the teen was hit, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Myers died from his gunshot injuries. The officer, who has worked for the police department for six years, is reportedly uninjured.
The teen’s family says Myers did not own a gun, despite claims made by police that a 9mm Ruger was uncovered at the scene.
“He was unarmed,” said his cousin, Teyonna Myers. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
Myers’ uncle, Jackie Williams, agreed: “My nephew was coming out of a store from purchasing a sandwich. Security was supposedly searching for someone else. They tased him. I don’t know how this happened, but they went off and shot him 16 times. That’s outright murder.”
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Police have denied the use of a taser.
As many as 300 protesters reportedly lined the streets after the incident. Several police cars were reportedly vandalized and witnesses report hearing several random gunshots fired on the street. No arrests have been reported.
Photo Credit: Facebook, David Carson