Police on the scene following Shaw shooting

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has co-designated the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate and review the case of VonDerrit Myers Jr., a black 18-year-old man who was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in the Shaw neighborhood on Wednesday night.

A St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officer working a second job as a security officer shot and killed Myers, discharging his weapon 17 times, according to St. Louis Public Radio.

Joyce told the St. Louis American that the federal investigator would give “another set of eyes” on the case.

“These are people who don’t work as closely with the St. Louis Police Department as we do,” Joyce said. “They can also file federal charges if warranted.”

Today about 20 of Myers’ family and friends gathered at the corner of Shaw Boulevard and Klemm Street.

Neighbors said that Myers was a “good kid” and a community college student. His family has lived on a street nearby for more than 20 years. However, the group who gathered told reporters that they did not want to comment yet.

Willie Kilpatrick, a pastor for the Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church at 9350 Natural Bridge, told the St. Louis American that Myers was a part of his congregation. Kilpatrick said the family would give a statement after they had time to put some thought into it.

“They need time to grieve,” he said.

According to the police press release, the officer drove past three males, “one of the males began to run, but then stopped.”

When the officer then did a u-turn, the males ran from the area, according to the statement. The officer followed the men through several streets, got out of his car and followed one of the males through a gangway.

“The officer observed the male running and holding his waistband, causing the officer to believe the suspect had a gun,” the release stated. “The suspect then began to approach the officer in an aggressive manner.”

The officer asked the Myers to surrender, but he moved toward the officer, according to police.

“The suspect and the officer then got into a physical altercation, with hands on each other,” it stated.

While fighting Myers’ hooded sweatshirt came off of him, and he ran from the officer, up a hill in the 4100 block of Shaw.

“At this time, the officer saw the suspect was armed with what he believed to be a gun,” according to the police statement.

Myers allegedly fired three rounds toward the officer.

“Three projectiles were recovered going toward the officer, down the hill, with ballistic evidence, a bullet in a vehicle, located behind the officer,” it stated.

“Fearing for his safety,” the officer returned fire. Upon recovery of the gun, investigation revealed the gun had malfunctioned and had jammed after firing at least three rounds. Allegedly Myers continued to point the gun toward the officer and pull the trigger, and the officer continued to fire shots at the suspect, fatally wounding him.

“The officer, while not on duty for the Police Department, still has the same responsibilities and power to affect arrest and the officer operates in the capacity as a St. Louis Police Officer. St. Louis Police Officers work secondary for securities companies, business establishments, sporting events, etc.”

The incident happened just before the two-month anniversary of the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson on August 9. There is a series of protests and other activities scheduled in his honor over the weekend.

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(3) comments


Are we to take the life of every man who wears overalls, suspenders, and a cowboy hat, who chews and spits tobacco and then justify taking his life because his attire or background suggests he could have been a "hangman?

I don't think so, despite history depicting that to be the common attire of Klansmen when not wearing their traditional white robes, and others who ascribed to their system of beliefs towards people of color.

Has there ever been a time in our history where men were justifiably killed because they happened to be wearing long Beattle styled hair, or jeans and motorcycle styled-jackets at the time of their deaths, or was the litmus test for determining its justification, the skin color of the person wearing that attire?

When has as a "charge," or accusation, or "pending court case," had the same merits of an actual "conviction?" Isn't the purpose of the "pending" case for determining one's actual guilt, or is guilt predetermined by that individual's skin color?

Since when does an individual's guilt of one offense, predetermined his guilt of another? Is there a reason why a conviction in one offense is allowed to be introduced to jurors as evidence when a man is on trial for another offense?

Are you one of those people, who use your wealth and influence, and every other resource available to you, to put in place obstacles that deny children the opportunity to gain a quality education that would enable them to become more refined, independent and self-sufficient citizens who can later provide for their own families, but belittle them and devalue their lives when they fail in these endeavors? If you do, don't take refuge, or feel comfortable because you don't wear the attire of a police officer or the robe of a judge in a courtroom. You are very much a part of an entire system of injustice and oppression.

You may be that employer who r effuses to hire based on prejudiced beliefs.

You may be that teacher who persists in telling some children they can't learn as much or as well as others.

You may be that sales clerk who refuses to recognize some customers.

You may be that realtor who persists in being secretive about some listings.

You may be that banker who unfairly refuses to lend to some when you lend to others using that same criteria.

You may be .......................................this lists goes on, but



"Appears to have been armed." We live in a city where people are licensed to carry weapons. So, are we to justify shooting a man to death because he "appears to be armed?"

Do police officers have the right to shoot some men because they assume the weapon is illegal but ignore others because they assume they have a permit?

Are we to justify the taking of a man's life based on judgment's made in the blink of an eye based on "his background?"

Are we not able to justify killing men based on how they behave at the counter of a local Quik Trip? If so, we should dispense with the courts and start reviewing all Quik Trip videos.

Are we to accept as gospel the words of any police officer despite "his background or skin color?"

Surely, it must be recognized that the municipal courts in this city have offered "amnesty" days for hundreds. While that may sound good to the ears,
people need to examine the how and why these warrants were issued in the first place?

They need to ask how many of them were legally issued in the first place?

How many job opportunities may have been lost because of them, and how many young children have had to go hungry because that parent remained unemployed?

They need to ask how many people who would have voted did not vote out of a fear of being arrested at the voting polls?

How many people avoided filling out census forms because they may have been hiding or either living with a relative who was not suppose to have any relatives living on the premises? The census data has a large part to do with government funding and so many communities may have been impacted by inaccurate information as well..

No, many of these tickets as well as warrants that are now questionable may have been issued by the same police whose word the public is now expected to accept as gospel.

I don't think so.

We give academy awards for film editing and now you want the public to justify the taking of a man's life based on some Quik Trip video? Who would think any man could be sentenced to death based on a video with absolutely no sound? A picture is worth a thousand words.

If this is to be, perhaps we should all start submitting our home videos and not worry about the requirement for lawyers or judges.

I don't think so.

Integrity is the root of justice, and its absence justice can never exist. People every where should realize that the same measure that they use to render what they call "justice" to others, may someday be used to render "justice" to them.

We all can and should strive for better.

Mad Man

I was not at the scene but Mr. VonDerrit Meyers appears to have armed according to police reports. Now, if you wish to discount any and all reports by police in these confrontations, so be it. I think he was armed and shot at an officer. His background suggests he was capable of carrying an illegal weapon. Finally, breaking the windows of a business or my car are at best stupid. Brings no peace.

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