Two sides say a private autopsy of the 18-year-old teen fatally shot by an off-duty St. Louis Police officer October 8 backs up their positions.
The family of Vonderrit Myers, Junior, paid forensic pathologist Doctor Cyril Wecht to conduct the autopsy. He found that Myers was shot eight times.
“Six of the eight gunshot wound were directed posteriorly. They struck Mister Myers on the rear part of his body,” says Wecht. “The other two shots were frontal but toward the side, not directly frontal.”
It was one of those nearly frontal wounds, on the right side of the head, that Wecht says killed Myers.
“The head wound would have rendered Vonderrit immediately unconscious,” says Wecht. “The brain would have been extensively damaged. There is no way in the world that Vonderrit would have been able to talk, move, think, act, or do anything at all once that head would was sustained.”
Wecht says the findings indicate Myers was being shot while fleeing up a steep hill, though he later said the leg wounds could have been suffered while Myers was lying down.
Lawyers for Myers’ family say the findings support their claim that he was fleeing and begging for his life when he was shot.
The Attorney for the officer says the findings match his story; that Myers shot at him first and that Myers fell to his side, suffering the leg wounds then when the officer returned fire. He says the fatal shot came after Myers refused the order to drop his gun.
Police have said forensic evidence backs up the officer’s claim that Myers shot at him at least three times before the officer returned fire, and say a gun was recovered at the scene that matched three bullets recovered from the ground near where the officer was during the incident.
The final reports from both the private and the city’s autopsies are still being compiled.
Earlier story: St. Louis officer fatally shoots one, angry protests follow