U.S.

Protests Erupt In St. Louis After Officer Shoots 18-Year-Old

An off-duty officer shot and killed an armed 18-year-old in a St. Louis neighborhood Wednesday night, sparking protests.

Protests Erupt In St. Louis After Officer Shoots 18-Year-Old
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
SMS

Police say an off-duty police officer shot and killed an armed 18-year-old late Wednesday night in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis.

According to St. Louis Police, the officer attempted a pedestrian check when the 18-year-old ran. After a brief chase, police say the young man fired a gun at the officer and the officer shot back. Police say they recovered a 9mm Ruger handgun on scene.

While the police declined to name the 18-year-old, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports relatives at the scene of the shooting identified him as Vonderrit Myers, Jr., and said he is black.

Soon after the incident, angry crowds formed to protest. Local station KMOV reports that several police cars were damaged, but some protestors spoke to the officers peacefully.

The Shaw neighborhood is near downtown St. Louis and only about 10 miles from Ferguson, where unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in August. Racial tensions and protests made global headlines.

In an early morning press briefing, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson explained the incident, adding the officer was a six-year veteran of the department working a secondary job for a private security company. (Video via KTVI)

ST. LOUIS POLICE CHIEF SAM DOTSON VIA KSDK"As i stand here right now this is what i know, a police officer tonight chased an individual armed with a gun, the individual shot at the officer at least three times and the officer returned fire. That's what i know right now."

According to Dotson, Myers fired three rounds while the officer fired 17.

Witnesses recorded video of the crowd shouting, "Hands up, don't shoot!" — a reference to Brown's shooting. (Video via YouTube / Umar Lee)

This video contains images from Getty Images.