Officer Cleared in Vonderrit Myers Case
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has announced that no charges will be filed against the city police officer who fatally wounded 18-year-old Vonderrit D. Myers, Jr.
Joyce issued a press release and detailed report about a separate investigation conducted by her office, according to STL Today.
“Based upon the investigation, prosecutors concluded that Mr. Myers produced a firearm on the evening in question,” the statement reads. “Multiple witnesses confirm there was gunfire coming from both directions and from two different guns at the scene. Ballistics evidence confirms that two different guns were fired at the scene. There is no evidence that Officer X (prosecutors are not naming the officer because charges have not been filed) was the person who fired both guns.”
Officer Jason Flanery shot Myers on Oct. 8 while on patrol for a private residents’ association in the Shaw neighborhood. Flanery told investigators that Myers and two other males ran as soon as they saw him. The officer then chased them.
Police believe Myers fired at least three shots at the officer before he returned fire.
Myers’ death drew outcry from protesters who were already fed up with the death of Michael Brown just two months earlier. Brown, who was Black, was also killed by a white police officer.
Joyce added that no witness claims mentioned any altering of evidence by Officer Flanery “in any way such as throw down a gun, fired a weapon in any direction other than towards Mr. Myers or scatter bullet casings.”
In December, the police department said it found no criminal wrongdoing by Flanery. But new procedures required the evidence to also be reviewed by the Force Investigation Unit.
The result of the investigation showed levels of gunshot residue consistent with Myers being the shooter and inconsistent with residue from the officers’ gun, given the distance between them. The residue was found only on Myers’ right hand, police said.
Ballistics tests showed that three bullets matched the gun found with Myers had hit the ground near where Flanery said he tried to take cover.