The St. Louis prosecutor’s office has closed the chapter on the fatal shooting of 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers and announced Monday that Police Officer Jason Flanery will not be charged for killing Myers, USA Today reports.
Myers, an African American, was shot to death by Flanery, a white police officer, in October. The incident sparked outrage in an already sensitive St. Louis community still reeling from the fatal shooting of an unarmed Michael Brown by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, Mo. However, in Myers’ case, USA Today reports, he was armed and fired at least three shots at Flanery before Flanery returned fire, killing him. A state crime lab found gunshot residue on Myers’ hands and shirt and inside the pockets of his jeans, the news site reported.
According to reports, Myers and two other friends were running away from the officer during the gunfire exchange, which sparked more public outrage because it was reported that Flanery shot at Myers eight times—six times toward the 18-year-old’s back.
St. Louis police wrapped up their investigation in December and found that Flanery acted in self-defense. They handed over the investigation to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office for further review.
The St. Louis prosecutor’s office released a statement Monday putting the case to rest.
“Given the fact that Mr. Myers produced a weapon, Missouri laws pertaining to self-defense and an officer’s use of deadly force apply,” the statement read. “Given all the available facts, witness statements, physical and forensic evidence and for reasons outlined in the detailed report, prosecutors have determined a criminal violation could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."
Read more at USA Today.