Police and protesters in St. Louis faced off for a second night following the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man by an off-duty white police officer.
The killing of Vonderrit D. Myers Wednesday night by the officer who was working a second job for a security firm has prompted renewed protests in the wake of the August death of Michael Brown, also 18 and black, at the hands of a white police officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Police say Myers fired off several shots from a stolen 9 mm Ruger. The family of the victim denies that he was armed.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren says that initially protesters were “mostly peaceful,” but later a few dozen blocked traffic and some smashed windows of police cars.
Bouscaren writes: “Around 10:15 p.m., [local time] dozens of police responded to an officer in need of assistance. Police with riot shields formed skirmish lines at the intersection of South Grand Avenue and Arsenal Street, as the crowd swelled to about 100. Multiple times during the night, officers used pepper spray to disperse some of the crowd. ”
SLPR live blogged last night’s protests here.
Police say Myers fired his weapon three times before it jammed and that the unidentified 32-year-old officer fired 17 times in the encounter.
The Associated Press says state and city leaders have urged the Department of Justice to investigate Myers’ death.