[UPDATE: An image purporting to be a police report of this shooting event was linked in the comments. I have embedded that image below–thanks Ras.  I can not personally attest to its provenance, but it appears to be of a form I would expect of an actual police report for such an incident.]

It’s deja vu all over again.

A St. Louis police officer working off duty for a private security company shot and killed a black man yesterday.  Protestors gathered quickly, raising concerns of more rioting, looting, and arson threats similar to those that erupted following the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO. (h/t @nadraenzi)

Fox news reports that while working private security the officer approached three men, who ran away. The officer chased one of them, and a physical struggle ensued.  Police officials report that the chased man then presented a pistol and fired three rounds at the officer before his handgun failed.  There are no reports that any of the shots struck the officer.

The officer’s handgun was made of more reliable stuff, and he fired 17 rounds at his attacker, mortally wounding him.

The Fox article goes on to report:

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that people claiming to be relatives of the victim identified him as 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers, Jr. The teenager’s mother, Syreeta Myers, told The Associated Press by phone Thursday that her son was holding a sandwich when the officer killed him Wednesday night.

[ . . . ]

Hours after the shooting, a crowd gathered at the scene. Some people shouted “Hands up, don’t shoot” in reference to the fatal shooting in August of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer. That shooting in Ferguson led to weeks of sometimes violent unrest in the St. Louis suburb. Officer Darren Wilson has not been charged in the shooting.

Dotson said some in the crowd late Wednesday shouted obscenities toward officers and damaged police cars. Officers, however, “showed great restraint,” he said.

[ . . . ]

KTVI reported that some protesters were seen hitting police vehicles and shots were heard in the area. The station also reported that police largely backed off to give the protesters space.

No demonstrators were arrested and by 1 a.m. Thursday the crowd had largely dispersed.

State officials and local community activists have already requested that the Department of Justice investigate the shooting.

Interestingly, it seems that St. Louis area police are regularly presented with the need to make use of their sidearms:

It was the third fatal police-involved shooting in the St. Louis area since Brown’s death. On Aug. 19, Kajieme Powell, 25, was shot by St. Louis city officers after moving toward them with a knife while telling them, “Shoot me now. Kill me now.” Both officers fired six shots each. Powell died at the scene.

On Sept. 17, officers shot and killed a 42-year-old man in the St. Louis County town of Jennings after the suspect allegedly slammed his vehicle into two police vehicles before pointing a rifle at officers.

Should be an interesting weekend in St. Louis, MO.  Anybody know when the weather starts getting cold over there?

Here’s the image of the police report mentioned in the update at the top of this post:

St. Louis Police report Vonderrit Myers

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.