Anybody remember VonDerrit Myers? That’s him, on the right side of the picture above.

Heck, I couldn’t quite place the name, and I actually posted about his untimely demise at the hands of law enforcement way back in October 2014, shortly after the Mike Brown kerfuffle in the same St. Louis area. (See: St. Louis Shooting Victim Vonderrit Myers Tests Positive for Gunshot Residue.)

VonDerrit was one of those “cops shoot unarmed black child” stories that that had cities on edge. Then his mom had to concede that her son was armed, “but only with a sandwich.”

It didn’t take long for the lab results to come back, however, and confirm that if VonDerrit’s mom was correct, then her son’s sandwiches were made of fired gunpowder–because that’s what they found all over his deceased hands.

The police forensics report would also supplement the gun powder residue (GPR) results with three recovered 9mm bullets fired from the S&W handgun found in the deceased VonDerrit’s possession.

Of course the police all along had reported that they fired on VonDerrit only after he had fired his own gun at them. Fortunately, the police were more timely and accurate in their fire, and so the loss was not as great as it might otherwise have been.

Today the St. Louis American newspaper reports that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has decided not to file criminal charges against the officer who shot and killed VonDerrit. The report explains that:

[T]he October 8 fatal shooting on Shaw Boulevard was justified on two grounds, according to Missouri law, once the evidence that Myers was armed and shooting was accepted. It was justified as self-defense, she argued, as well as according to a state statute outlining acceptable uses of lethal force for police officers, which states “deadly force” is justified when a suspect “is attempting to escape by use of a deadly weapon.”

Shockingly, it also turns out that at the time of his death VonDerrit was wearing an anklet with a GPS monitor as a court-ordered bond condition related to a previous gun charge from June.

Huh.

It did seem a little strange that so soon after the Mike Brown shooting this death of VonDerrit by cop did not attract similar levels of attention by Al Sharpton, et al. I guess they had better insight into the underlying evidence of the case than what was shared with the general public by the media.

Anyway, that ought to be the end of the VonDerrit event.

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


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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.