ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Forensic evidence shows the teen shot and killed by an off-duty police officer in South St. Louis had gun residue on his hands and clothes, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab.
Police said immediately following the October 8 shooting that Vonderrit D. Myers fired at least three shots at the 32-year-old officer, but Myers' family claimed he was unarmed.
According to the report, while gun residue on his hands could mean Myers fired a weapon, that isn't conclusive evidence. "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," the report said. "Individuals shot at close range can have gunshot residue deposited onto their hands."
The report also said residue from a gun was found in the inner waistband of Myers' jeans and on his shirt.
The St. Louis Police Officers Association, speaking to reporters Tuesday, used the new test results, as well as Myers' criminal history, in support of the unnamed officer's actions. Myers was wearing an ankle bracelet at the time of shooting. He was awaiting trial on a gun charge in St. Louis City.
"It would be an incredible conspiracy for the officer to pull off as has been alleged to throw down or plant a gun that just happened to match the very distinctive gun on social media sometime before the shooting ever occurred," said Jeff Riorda, with the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
They added that Myers was a suspect in a St. Louis County shooting case two years, but the charges were dropped when the victim did not show up for court.
"Folks have questioned the officer making this contact in the first place. Our officers out there know how to recognize criminal behavior and they know the so-called known police characters and I don't think it's an understatement to say that Myers was no stranger to law enforcement," Riorda said when asked why bringing up Myers' criminal history was pertinent to this case.
The officer, who was not identified, was placed on routine paid administrative leave. He has been with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for six year.
While the officer was not on duty for the police department at the time of the shooting, he was working "secondary employment," where officers work security in uniform and also carry their weapon. Officers working secondary employment have the same arresting powers as on-duty officers, according to an incident report by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.