Cousin of teen shot by police: He was harassed - KMOV.com

Cousin of teen shot by police: He was harassed

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Rumors about the deadly officer-involved shooting Wednesday night are spreading among the St. Louis community. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sent a tweet Wednesday night saying the officer attempted a "pedestrian check." Many are wondering why Vonderrit Myers was stopped in the first place.

Ronny Sparks is the cousin of 18-year-old Myers. Sparks says his cousin was harassed by police before he was shot and killed. However, police have a different story. Police said Myers was one of three men walking around the Shaw neighborhood Wednesday night who acted suspiciously.

"Certainly somebody running when you see the police I think is suspicious behavior. If you haven't done anything wrong, why would you run from police?" stated Chief Sam Dotson.

Chief Dotson said the officer is a six-year veteran of the department and was working a second job as a security detail with a private company. The officer circled around the block before he got out of his car and followed them by foot. Dotson said the officer noticed Myers had a gun shortly after an altercation with the officer.

Click here to see St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson's press conference about the shooting

"The suspect broke free [and] ran up a hill. Now the officer had direct contact. The suspect points a gun at the officer ... this is one-on-one," said Dotson.

Police said they recovered a stolen gun at the scene. The evidence proves Myers fired three shots toward the officer. The officer in return fired 17 shots, taking Myers' life.

"People don't make it a big deal out here nowadays. It's like police can keep coming and killing our young black youth, and it's not right," said Myers cousin, Ronny Sparks.

Dotson said the department is handing the case seriously and will use the new force investigative unit. All the findings will then be passed onto the circuit attorney's office.

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