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St. Louis Shooting Victim Vonderrit Myers Tests Positive for Gunshot Residue

St. Louis Shooting Victim Vonderrit Myers Tests Positive for Gunshot Residue

Mother’s claims that Vonderrit Myers was armed only with a sandwich now seem questionable

ABC news and many other sources are reporting that Vonderrit Myers — the St. Louis black man shot dead by a white police officer after he allegedly pointed a gun at them — tested positive for numerous tests of gunshot residue.  (PDF embedded below.)

The shooting reignited racial strife in St. Louis in MO, also ground central for looting and arson after the shooting of black Mike Brown by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, MO.

This would be the same Vonerrit Myers whose mother claimed he was “armed” only with a sandwich when he was shot and killed by police, as reported here:  “Off-Duty Police Officer Kills Sandwich Wielding Teen In Saint Louis”

This would be the same Vonerrit Myers who was apparently captured posing with what appears to be a 1911 pistol on the right of the image above (courtesy of Gateway Pundit).

This would be the same Vonerrit Myers apparently posing with a multiple pistols in this photo:


The source of that last photo is an article from Fox News titled “Vonderrit Myers, Jr. showed off his guns before shooting.”   That whole article is worth reading, as it provides greater detail on the police officer’s perspective of the gunfight.  It also closes strong, noting:

The officer, who`s now on standard leave, is a Marine Corps veteran with three combat tours under his belt. Millikan [the officer’s legal counsel] feels it`s his extensive combat training that kept him alive last Wednesday night.

Like Trayvon, it seems Vonderrit Myers may simply have chosen the wrong victim.

More on this to come, I expect.

–-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 (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.


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I’m not sure what everyone else sees but those are clearly sandwiches in all the photos.

    Exiliado in reply to Merlin01. | October 15, 2014 at 11:12 am


    I can even see there’s cheese

    Ragspierre in reply to Merlin01. | October 15, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    “Jam” sandwiches. With added minerals. Like lead.

    gregjgrose in reply to Merlin01. | October 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    A pistollette?

    wikipedia: …either of two bread-based dishes in Louisiana cuisine. One is a stuffed and fried bread roll … in the Cajun areas around Lafayette. The other is a type of submarine shaped bread … popular in New Orleans for Vietnamese bánh mì and other sandwiches.

    Observer in reply to Merlin01. | October 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Obviously, it was a gunpowder sandwich, and that’s how he got the residue on his hands.

TrooperJohnSmith | October 15, 2014 at 11:12 am

“I’d like a Baby Glock 40, on whole wheat, hold the mayo, extra magazine with Hydra-Shoks and a purple drank. And one of them big old pickles.”

He was just reaching for his Skittles & Tea

The low-info black pack of fools doesn’t care; it doesn’t matter to them. They’ll still protest, loot, etc. The world has gone crazy.

Looks like mom might not be able to cash in.

    wendybar in reply to MTED. | October 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Bingo!!! Yet one has to wonder if the MSM will report this??

      I’ll bet not.

      The MSM will double down on the “black teen shot by white cop” meme – again – and try to build a racist mountain out of a molehill.

      It won’t go anywhere, but it will cost the MSM trust and credibility – again.

      They never learn, do they?

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Archer. | October 15, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        Now hang on this did come out on ABC news, so maybe the don’t want to be made to look like fools again like they were with the Zimmerman case.

Before everyone gets carried away, it isn’t exactly unusual that a gunshot person might have a little gunshot residue spritzed about them.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to MJN1957. | October 15, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    As others point out, it really depends on how close the shooter was to the shootee. And, the pattern is different. The report indicated that he had GSR on his hand or hands, and that is consistent with having used a firearm recently. But also, maybe, consistent with being shot, if the shot was at close enough range. I think that you need to go a bit deeper, and look at the pattern on his body. The pattern is likely to be a lot more concentrated if the shootee had recently shot a firearm with the hand with the concentrated GSR. So, if it is concentrated, his being a shooter is more likely, whereas if it is not, but rather more evenly distributed, then maybe he was only wielding a sandwich.

    But, what is not consistent with being a completely innocent victim is the GSR that was found inside his belt, waistband, and pockets. While that apparently persists longer than GSR on the body, it is inconsistent with being completely innocent – he pretty much had to have had a firearm stuffed in his waistband and/or belt in the last day or so (not sure exactly of the time there).

    So, what I think that we have is that he very likely had handled a firearm in the previous day, and probably even shot it, and I think more likely than not, shot at the police officer here (but that could change if and when we learn more).

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 15, 2014 at 4:49 pm

      Uh oh. Looks like the GSR was only on his right hand. Not looking good for the sandwich theory. That is pretty good indicia that he had relatively recently discharged a firearm utilizing his right hand.

      Note to active shooters here – aren’t you supposed to be using both hands to shoot? Typically the power hand to hold the firearm, and the other hand to steady it? I was taught to use a two handed grip, which would presumably end up with GSR on both of my hands.

        You have apparently missed the training films for the gangstas (rap videos etc.) that show you absolutely must use one hand and one hand only because the other hand must be used to keep your baggy pants from winding up around your ankles.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Miles. | October 16, 2014 at 1:07 am

          ….and you gotta turn your gat sideways. Always sideways. Otherwise it won’t fire.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Miles. | October 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm

          Never did understand that. Was out shooting today, and I sure couldn’t hit anything of note with the gun sideways. Bad enough doing so one handed (though I have trained that way). I suppose that you just have to train that way. Or not.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Miles. | October 17, 2014 at 2:18 am

          Bruce, it was a joke. Ghetto rats often hold their gun sideways, firing with one hand. Ghetto rats are notoriously poor shots, which is why there are so few deaths in all the Chicago shootings. They don’t “train” themselves to shoot; they just fire away and hope they get lucky. It makes them feel badass to have and hold a gun, and that’s all they need to feel good. Training is for sissies.

          The “gangsta sideways grip” is rumored to have evolved from the fact that many convenience stores in high-crime areas have the clerk enclosed behind “bullet-proof glass,” usually open at the top to allow ventilation. Armed robbers would find it necessary to extend their arms up over the top of the partition and angle the muzzle down at the clerk, and this is most easily dune if the hand (and gun) are sideways.

          At least, that’s how I’ve always heard it.

          The gun doesn’t really care HOW you hold it when firing a shot. When I take pistol novices to the range I often demonstrate this to them by holding the pistol upside down and pulling the trigger with my pinkie. As long as you do the usual fundamentals–align the sights properly on the target and depress the trigger without messing up that alignment–the gun will hit an 8″ steel plate at 15 yards all day long. (Longer distances can create some POA/POI issues as a function of the gun’s orientation, but handguns are rarely shot at distances where that’s affected by the orientation of the sights.)

          What a non-vertical grip DOES mess up, however, is the NEXT shot. A non-vertical grip doesn’t allow for much recoil management, and so aligning the next shot and getting it off and on target becomes a much more time consuming affair than when the gun is held in a proper two-handed vertical grip.

          At least, that’s been my experience. 🙂

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 15, 2014 at 4:51 pm

      Probably should have used “more experienced shooter” instead of “active shooter”, if for no other reason than the latter has a more specific meaning in law enforcement that I did not intend here.

      Ragspierre in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      He may have fired a gun, and then fondled his pistol.

      Bruce, you stated that “what is not consistent with being a completely innocent victim is the GSR that was found inside his belt, waistband, and pockets.” It is possible (although unlikely) that Vonderrit was “completely innocent” even if he had fired a handgun that day.

      I frequently have GSR on my hands, arms and my clothing. In fact, it seems that about half the time I fly, my suitcase tests positive for GSR when TSA swabs the outside of the suitcase down. That does not make me guilty of anything. The circumstances under which I use my firearms are all legal. I don’t stuff a handgun into my pants — I use a holster. But there is nothing inconsistent with some “kid” engaging in foolish but legal gun behaviour and being “completely innocent.”

        Bruce Hayden in reply to Mike45. | October 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm

        Ok – I will agree with that. I probably overstated my point. Myers could have just come from the range, where he had used his belt, waistband, and pockets for his firearm. Unlikely, but possible. Luckily, the burden would be on the state to prove that this was the case, and I doubt that they would succeed.

In fact, all the presence of gunshot residue proves is that the gunshot person was present when a gunshot was fired.


    Ragspierre in reply to MJN1957. | October 15, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Depending ENTIRELY on proximity.

    We have no idea of the distance of the exchange of fire, to my understanding.

    jayjerome66 in reply to MJN1957. | October 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Per St Louis Post Dispatch today forensic scientists from the Missouri Highway Patrol crime lab found gunshot residue on Meyer’s clothing, and on his right hand only – the hand the officer said he saw the suspect using to grasp at his side to grab at the gun.

    Also three bullets recovered that hit the ground where the officer said he was taking cover matched Myers’ gun, and fragments from one damaged round that couldn’t be matched to the suspect’s gun was excluded from the bullet type the officer fired.

    That’s conclusive evidence Vonderett was firing at the officer.

      tom swift in reply to jayjerome66. | October 15, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Yes, the bullets are far more important than GSR.

      GSR just means that Myers was rather close to a gunshot in the recent past or handled an object which had been near a gunshot. It doesn’t mean that Myers was shooting at the officer. It doesn’t even mean that Myers wasn’t holding a sandwich.

        Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | October 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

        An infamous source of false positives is BSR, or Bacon Sammich Residue.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to tom swift. | October 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

        Facetiously then, probably should check the sandwich for GSR.

        But, you are right – it isn’t definitive proof, just strongly suggestive that he had at least handled a recently fired handgun in the very recent past.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to MJN1957. | October 16, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Muzzle-to-target distance can be extrapolated from the pattern and concentration of residue. It can determine if the residue is from a gun held and fired by the person in question as opposed to another shooter. The ME can also approximate the distance from which the deceased was shot. If the gunshot residue firing distance and the distance from the officer’s firing position to the deceased aren’t reasonably close, the only rational conclusion is that the deceased fired a weapon.

    Add that to the shots that were found behind the officer’s firing position, caliber, etc., and the gun found next to the deceased. I’m sure they’ve got ballistics on those rounds by now.

    The correct conclusion will be inescapable.

For the record, I’ve always sprinkled a little GSR on my club sandwiches.

Hmmm, three “sandwich” guns all pointed at his junk. Compensate much?

And whether or not he’d have GSR from the officer’s gun depends upon how far away he was when he was shot. GSR does not travel far. Also, the location of the residue is telling. GSR around a wound means a short range shot. No GSR around a wound, but GSR on his right hand/arm (if right handed) would be from a gun in his hand.

MouseTheLuckyDog | October 15, 2014 at 1:02 pm

It’s a plot to poison blacks!
Don’t you know the samwich place deliberately puts lead and nitrates in their sammies to kill blacks. That’s why it was found on the guy!

Rags…to a degree but generally, close enough to cause a fatal would with a handgun is usually close enough to shower them with residue (thought there are a TON of variables involved).

sjf…not necessarily. Residue pattern analysis (attempting to demonstrate that the gunshot person was holding/firing a gun) has not proven to be reliable. Only very vague estimates of distance from the source of the residue are possible in many instances, but the residue is pretty decent circumstantial evidence about the direction the shot came from (e.g., if all the residue is on the front of a gunshot person, it is unlikely that they were shot in the back). All residue on a right hand would indicate would be that the right hand was in the vicinity of a gun when it was fired. It doesn’t prove – in fact, it can’t prove – that the person shot was holding the gun, maybe they were attempting to deflect it away when it was fired.

Also, the guy obviously has access to at least 3 handguns. Residue is residue whether it comes from the gun that was in the hands of the officer that deceased him, or from his own handguns when he was shooting them sometime before he was involuntarily deceased.

I’m not on the dead-guys side…I’m definitely on the officers side here. But my LEO experience strongly suggests the gunshot residue may make interesting headlines (or not), but it just isn’t going to be strong evidence in this case, one way or the other. There are simply too many variables and plausible alternative explanations.

    Ragspierre in reply to MJN1957. | October 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Rags…to a degree but generally, close enough to cause a fatal would with a handgun is usually close enough to shower them with residue (thought there are a TON of variables involved).

    Not according to my understanding, but I readily admit to not being an expert.

    There are several tests around the whole GSR thingy, and they can SOMETIMES determine who’s ammo the GSR came from by chemical analysis.

    Also, the concentration of GSR is an important indicator of distance. Some tests are very sensitive, and would show GSR emitted from a distance, but a test of the concentration would give a indication as to whether it was from a gun held by the “target” or coming from several feet away.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Ragspierre. | October 15, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Oh no, I am not by any means an expert shot, not anywhere close to Andrew and guys like him, but I can shoot well enough to be lethal at a distance that won’t leave any residue.

Wouldn’t background checks be unconstitutional and racist from these minorities acquiring their weapons legally?

I wonder why the libs aren’t fighting that battle like they are voter ID laws.

Kudos to the police for releasing information sooner rather than later.

We know Officer Wilson fired his weapon. If there was no GSR on Gentle “G”, it would be fair to release that information. Sooner, rather than later.

Also, did Wilson suffer an eye socket fracture or not? Release that info. Sooner, rather than, . . . . Never mind.

I’m pretty sure George Zimmerman used a turkey reuben to kill Trayvon Martin.

I think the nitrates from his ham sandwich caused a false positive in the test.

We should be marching in celebration every time a cop or citizen shoots one of these violent felons in the act of committing violent crimes, like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Vonderritt Myers, Jr.

Those who protest the death of their criminal “brothers” deserve neither respect nor attention.

Looters should always be shot on sight, IMO.

FYI I saw the instagram account where Fox got those pictures, and I saw other pics of the crowd that Vonderitt ran with. Still, Michael Brown and Vonderitt Myers, both had legal, ahem, (criminal) issues and they both somehow avoided incarceration. I have to wonder if what appears to be judicial(?) leniency backfired. Two deaths and two LEO’s facing consequences. My $.02.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to amwick. | October 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Not sure if you can actually say that Brown had legal issues pending before the day of his death. Yes, he had apparently just committed a Class B felony (2nd Degree Robbery), but that was immediately before the fatal interaction with Officer Wilson.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Bruce Hayden. | October 16, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Bruce, the juvenile court records weren’t released, but a recounting of his record was couched in such a way as to not disclose what all he’d been charged with and convicted of as a minor.

      I realize you feel that it’s your job, as a more subtle troll, to cast doubt on anything defensive of Officer Wilson’s actions, but some day you will understand that people who deal with facts, numbers, and logic as their daily bread aren’t persuaded by your rhetoric and talking points.

Voderrit’s clothes were made of gun cotton. This proves nothing.