A police officer shot and killed Vonderrit Deondre Myers, an 18-year-old male who reportedly opened fire on the police on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The incident occurred in St. Louis, about 16 miles from where Michael Brown was killed by a police officer on Aug. 9, according to USA Today.
According to CNN, Myers was killed by a St. Louis police officer, who was working a second job with a security company. He was wearing his police uniform and patrolling the area when he spotted Myers and two other black males, began to run as he approached.
The officer pursued the suspects because Myers was holding up his pants in a way that resembled someone who was holding a gun, according to CNN. While the other two suspects continued running, Myers reportedly turned around and fired three shots at the officer. The officer returned fire, shooting and killing Myers. A 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene of the shooting. The officer was not harmed.
According to the Associated Press, the medical examiner’s report on Myers said he died from a gunshot wound to the head. The officer fired 17 times. Myers was hit six or seven times, with all other shots hitting his lower extremities.
Without any video surveillance and limited witnesses at the scene, the St. Louis police department is forced to rely on tangible evidence from the shooting. This shooting, which has some striking similarities to the shooting of Michael Brown in August, sparked a new wave of protests Wednesday night in both Ferguson and St. Louis.
Myers’ mother, Syreeta Myers, told a CNN reporter that she blamed the police.
“My life is empty now. My heart is empty.They took him away from me,” she said. “He was just getting something to eat.”
On Thursday, Oct. 9, people gathered for a candlelight vigil near a sandwich shop where Myers purchased food shortly before his death. Prayers were read, hymns sung and balloons released in memory of Myers. The messages shared that evening called for peace, according to CNN.
The call for peace was an important one, as protestors gathered over the weekend for the “Weekend of Resistance.” Protestors planned to use the weekend to draw attention to two significant issues they would like resolved: the arrest of Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, and a larger focus on what protestors are deeming racial profiling in regards to police violence everywhere.
The officer who fatally shot Myers, whose name has not yet been released, has been placed on administrative leave, per standard department procedure. He is a six-year veteran, having served two tours of duty with the military in Iraq. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
Editor’s Note: Information from CNN, USA Today and the Associated Press was used in this report.