The news coming out of St. Louis over the past three days likely guarantees that the unidentified off-duty officer who killed Black teen Vonderrit D. Myers Jr. last week will not be charged in the shooting.
Brian Millikan, the attorney for the officer who shot Myers, said one of the weapons in Myers’ Instagram pictures was pegged by his client as the one Myers used to shoot at him.
Millikan said, “We want people to know, not only did he have it but this is the actual weapon that he used that night.”
Teyonna Myers, 23, who identified herself after the shooting as Myers’ cousin, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was unarmed.
“He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun,” she said. “It’s like Michael Brown all over again.”
But in a county that still hasn’t charged police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the mounting evidence against Myers probably makes it unlikely that the officer who shot him will ever face charges in the case.
There was doubt expressed by African-Americans on social media outlets after the police report on the gunshot residue, implying that the whole thing might be a coverup.
That doubt was addressed by St. Louis Police Officers Association business manager Jeff Roorda, who said, “With regards to the firearm that’s depicted on social media, there would have to have been an incredible conspiracy for the officer to pull off, as it’s been alleged, throwing down or planting a gun that just happened to match the gun portrayed on social media.”
In another piece of evidence leveled against Myers, Roorda said the teen was arrested at age 16 for shooting someone in the leg, but was not convicted.
Millikan said the residue found on Myers’ waistband area is consistent with him shooting down at the officer.
“It was clearly Vonderrit Myers’ intent to kill a police officer,” Roorda said.
Millikan gave the officer’s version of the incident.
“There was no initial stop or pedestrian check in this case,” he said. “(The officer is) patrolling. He notices these individuals start running in different directions. Ultimately, he sees the suspect involved in the shooting, holding his waistband.”
“The suspect, where he began shooting at the police officer, was on higher ground, basically, than the policeman,” he said. “So he has a tactical advantage because he’s shooting down at the policeman.”
About the 17 shots fired by the officer, the attorney said, “part of those rounds were suppression rounds to try to get the suspect to stop shooting at him.”
Millikan said the officer is a Marine Corps veteran with three combat tours under his belt and added that the officer’s extensive combat training kept him alive.
Myers was struck by more than a half-dozen bullets, according to reports. All of the bullets except one hit him in the lower part of his body — but the lethal shot hit him in the head.
Myers’ mother, Syreeta, told CNN she doesn’t believe her son did anything wrong.
“They took him away from me,” she said last week. “He was just getting something to eat.”