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Tensions rise as cop shoots teen 12 miles from Ferguson

Just a few weeks after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.


Rob Price

Internet Culture

Posted on Oct 9, 2014   Updated on May 30, 2021, 10:49 am CDT

A police officer shot and killed a teenager on Wednesday night in St. Louis, Mo.

Eight and a half weeks before, and about 12 miles away, another officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed another youth, unarmed teenager Michael Brown, sparking still-ongoing protests.

Police have yet to release the name of the young man shot Wednesday, but relatives have identified him as 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers, Jr.

Sources agree that a teenage black male fled an attempted “pedestrian check” late on Oct. 8, and an officer gave chase. What happened next is disputed: the official report is that the teenager fired at least three times at the officer with a firearm following a “physical altercation,” prompting the policeman fire 17 shots—though it’s unclear how many of these shots hit the teenager.

Others, however, claim otherwise: “He was unarmed,” relative Teyonna Myers told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. “He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It’s Michael Brown all over again.” St. Louis police say they have ballistic evidence and have recovered a firearm from the scene.

Officer working secondary in the 4100 blk of Shaw attempted a pedestrian check when suspect fled on foot. Officer pursued suspect.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) October 9, 2014

Suspect turned & fired at officer. Fearing for his safety, officer returned fire striking the suspect, fatally wounding him.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) October 9, 2014

The officer was not injured. A gun was recovered from the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

— St. Louis, MO Police (@SLMPD) October 9, 2014

Thought law enforcement have not named the teenager, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said he was “no stranger to law enforcement.”  

The shooting sparked immediate street protests of up to 300 people, the Post Dispatch reports, staging sit-ins on the street and chants including “black lives matter” and “hands up don’t shoot.” 

Photos and videos of the angry demonstrations are being shared on social media using the hashtags #ShawShooting and #16shots.

#ShawShooting area NOW #16times #16shots

— Charles Wade (@akacharleswade) October 9, 2014

“Hands Up Don’t Shoot.” Crowd surges as police step aside. #Shaw #shawshooting #STL

— Matthew Wyczalkowski (@MaciekStL) October 9, 2014

Tensions have remained consistently high in the area ever since Wilson shot Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb, 62 days ago. Wilson has not been charged.

Photo via Jason Hargrove / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Oct 9, 2014, 9:54 am CDT