Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gunshot Residue Found on St. Louis Shooting Victim: Lab Results

 Vonderrit Myers, Jr., an African-American teenager, who was shot and killed by a white off-duty police officer in St. Louis on October 8, tested positive for gunpowder residue, according to crime lab results, released by Missouri state authorities on Tuesday.

“The presence of gunshot residue on a person’s hands could mean the individual discharged a firearm, was near a firearm when it was discharged, or touched an object with gunshot residue on it. Individuals shot at close range can have gunshot residue deposited onto their hands,” the lab results read.
The findings of the test were released to the St. Louis Police Department (SLMPD) by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, according to a SLMPD news release.
The analysis also revealed gunshot residue on Myers’ jeans and t-shirt. Such traces could mean that a person was in the environment of a discharged weapon. Gunshot residue is unlikely to remain on an active person’s hands for more than eight hours, however, it is not known how long it may persist on clothing.
Since Myers’ killing, St. Louis law enforcement officials have maintained that the teenager was armed and the officer acted in self-defense, according to local CBS affiliate in St. Louis, while supporters of Myers say he was carrying a sandwich, not a gun.
Myers’ death is the second fatal shooting of an African-American teenager by a white St. Louis police officer in recent months. In August, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.

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