The shooting took place near the popular Missouri Botanical Garden. It has led to hours of protests over night, on into Thursday morning.
Protesters are comparing the shooting to that of Mike Brown, which led to the nearby city of Ferguson, Missouri erupting in months of protests against the police shooting the unarmed African American teen who has now become a household name.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that this latest shooting occurred while the officer was off-duty, working as private security. He confirmed that the victim was 18-year-old and African American. He also said that no arrests have been made.
Police sources even went so far to say that the unarmed teen “opened fire” on the officer, but other sources, including the family of young Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, said that he had no weapon whatsoever, and that none was retrieved from the scene of the homicide.
Teyonna Myers, 23, explained that Myers was her cousin and that “he was unarmed.”
“He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
When questioned about this, Assistant Police Chief Alfred Adkins changed the official police story and said the teen jumped from some bushes and struggled with the officer. The story sounds almost identical to the defense that George Zimmerman used in court, when he was on trial for the murder of unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin.
Police confirmed that the officer fired 17 times at the teen.
Contrary to what the family says, Police said they recovered a 9mm Ruger from the scene, but his family says that it was planted and likely from the police evidence locker. They affirm that they know without question that Myers did not have any weapon and was simply eating a sandwich, crossing the street
Dotson further jabbed that the 18-year-old “was no stranger to law enforcement.”
Police also refused identify the officer.