(KMOV.com) – Many of those who gathered for a prayer vigil near where Vonderrit Myers, Jr was shot told News 4 they do not believe St. Louis police’s account of the shooting.
The crowd was large, somber, and vocal. Many said they were not convinced Myers was armed when a police officer, who was off-duty, but working for a security firm, shot and killed him.
“For him to go from joking around, playing around, and eating a sandwich and sharing it with two or three of his friend, to go from that now he’s a violent criminal. That’s absolutely absurd,” said Pastor Willie Kilpatrick, a spokesman for Myers’ family.
Police said Myers was armed with a 9-millimeter gun and fired three shots at the officer before his gun jammed. According to police, the officer then returned fire, killing Myers.
St. Louis Francis Slay said investigators must handle the situation very carefully.
“I think it’s really extra important we make sure everything we do and handle these sensitive issues, we do so as professionally as possible,” Slay said.
Slay admits there is mistrust and said the challenge is keeping the peace.
“We believe in the system, we pray the system does not fail us,” Kilpatrick said.