(Photo: Justice For Vonderrit Myers via Facebook)
On Wednesday, Jason H. Flanery was identified as the St. Louis officer who killed Vonderitt Myers Jr. on Oct. 8 in the Shaw neighborhood. The family's lawyer, Jermaine Wooten, released the name after the police department previously refused to disclose it on the grounds of a pending “threat assessment." The St. Louis-Dispatch verified that the name was correct.
The incident sparked protests in the area, around 12 miles from Ferguson, where Michael Brown was shot and killed three months ago.
The police reported that Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, shot at the officer three times, who then shot back at the teen 17 times, the police said, according to KSDK. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer was in a car when he saw three men walking, one of them Myers. According to the police report, the group began running and the officer proceeded to follow them in his vehicle and then got out the car and chased them in the streets. Myers approached the officer and got into a physical altercation. The teen started to run away again and pointed his gun at the officer, who returned bullets.
The off-duty officer was working another job as a security guard when the officer chased down Myers and two other men. The cop was not hurt.
A private autopsy ordered in October by the family of Myers found that he was shot several times from behind by the officer. The family's lawyers say that he was possibly running away from the officer when he was shot during the confrontation.
The family of Myers says that the teen was unarmed, a claim that conflicts with the police report. His cousin, Verona Myers, 23, told the Dispatch, "He had a sandwich in his hand, and they thought it was a gun. It's like Michael Brown all over again."
Follow Natelege Whaley on Twitter: @Natelege_
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