Vonderrit Myers, the black 18-year-old who was shot and killed last week by an off-duty police officer, was found to have gunshot residue on his hands and clothing.
The crime lab results were released Tuesday, after four days of escalating protests in St. Louis, where the incident took place on October 8.
In their report, police have said that Myers shot at least three-times at the officer, who was working at a private security company at the time, and that Myers’ weapon was recovered at the scene. In the defense, the officer fired his own gun and shot the teen. The officer’s name has not been identified.
Family and friends of Myers have said the teen did not have a gun.
The 18-year-old’s mother, Syreeta Myers, informed the Associated Press via phone that her son was not armed, as police contend. He was actually holding a sandwich, she claims.
“Police lie. They lied about Michael Brown too,” she said, referring to the deadly Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department have said the presence of gun residue on someone’s hands or clothes could mean the person fired a gun or was near a gun when it went off.
Protests to draw national attention to police brutality and race discrimination have erupted throughout St. Louis and its surrounding suburbs, leading to dozens of arrests. Demonstrators are calling for the arrest and indictment of Darren Wilson, the white officer who killed Brown and has not been charged while the grand jury continues its investigation of the shooting.
Protestors have said that they did not trust the “police version” of the shooting events. They cited studies showing young black men are the most likely demographic to be shot by police.
Police union leaders stand firm in their story. A news conference was held on Tuesday to present the gunshot residue findings to the public.
“We’re done, as a police union, standing in the shadows in these cases. We are actively defending the officer involved in the shooting,” said Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association.”
(With reports from Yahoo News)