A teenager has been fatally shot by an off duty officer who was patrolling the streets in St. Louis Wednesday night.
Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was unarmed, according to relatives who arrived on scene.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police say the officer was working a secondary job as a security guard for a private security company when he stopped four pedestrians to talk to them around 7:30 p.m.
The officer is a 32-year-old and is a six-year veteran at the police department.
St. Louis police say off-duty cop fired 17 shots in fatal confrontation with black teenager. http://t.co/ipcsIdZ4G9 pic.twitter.com/6h0pHmrND5
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) October 9, 2014
They ran and the officer chased them, according to assistant chief Alfred Adkins. The man he was chasing jumped from some bushes and fought with him. He then pulled a gun and fired at the officer, who was forced to return fire, which killed him.
The officer was not injured and the gun was recovered. A crowd of about a dozen people, including relatives of the victim, gathered at the scene. Some were in tears while others shouted at the officer for what he did.
Around two hours after the shooting, protesters blocked traffic near the scene.
Myers’ 23-year-old cousin, Teyonna Myers, says he was unarmed. She compares the incident to the Ferguson shooting.
“He was unarmed,” she said. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
In a media briefing, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson says the officer was working for a private firm patrolling the streets. He saw three males and one of them ran away but stopped. The officer did a U-Turn and all three started to run. He then followed them in the car, then chased them on foot. Myers then engaged in a fight with the officer, which led up to the shooting. Myers reportedly fired three shots before he was fatally shot.