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October 15, 2014

Unexpectedly!

Surpise, surprise, surprise. Vonderrit Myers, the St. Louis man recently shot by an off duty police officer, had gunshot residue on his shooting hand and the weapon found at the scene (an uncommon model that just happens to match the one Myers was holding 2 days before the shooting in photos on social media) had been fired several times:

Ballistic evidence shows Myers fired three shots before his gun jammed, Dotson said. Police said they recovered the gun, which was reported stolen on Sept. 26.

Roorda said the gun in the photo was an exact match for the gun found on Myers after his death.

"This is a distinct-looking gun, not one seen on the streets very often," he said.

Roorda called political leaders who blamed the police for Myers' death "irresponsible and despicable."

"The allegation that the young man had nothing but a sandwich was a silly allegation proven quickly to be untrue," he said.

The officer fired off 17 rounds. Preliminary autopsy results show Myers was struck six or seven times and died from a wound to the head, according to medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham.

Online court documents show that Myers was free on bond when he was killed. He had been charged with the unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, and misdemeanor resisting arrest in June.

The officer's attorney, Brian Millikan, said the shooting was "a traumatic event in his life." He said the officer is undergoing counseling.

Obviously a frame-up:

St. Louis Police Officer’s Association Business Manager Jeff Roorda said, “With regards to the firearm that`s depicted on social media, there would have to have been an incredible conspiracy for the officer to pull off, as it`s been alleged, throwing down or planting a gun that just happened to match the gun portrayed on social media.”

Roorda also announced that suspect Myers was certified as an adult when he was 16, after being arrested for shooting someone in the leg. Myers was not convicted.

If only someone would host a beer summit.

Posted by Cassandra at October 15, 2014 08:28 AM

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Comments

One... what is this "distinctive gun" we're talking about. I hate when they throw out information like that without any form of identification. If the object were a car, we'd have been told the make and model. But for whatever reason, we have no idea what kind of gun this was?

Also, 17 shots, "six or seven" hits (how do they not know how many, are they unable to count?). I believe that the officer could use some more range time, and that is at least one reload minimum. I'm not disputing that it was a clean shoot. I'm just saying that "spray and pray" is no way to engage a shooter.

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2014 11:43 AM

Yesterday I was reading an article that had a lot more information, but can't find it today.

Here's a link - gotta run!:

http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2014/10/teen-killed-in-shootout-used-gun-posted-in-social-media-to-shoot-at-st-louis-cop-3044984.html

Posted by: Cass at October 15, 2014 11:59 AM

Fox2 in St. Louis has some good coverage:

http://fox2now.com/2014/10/14/fox2-obtains-new-evidence-about-vonderrit-myers/

Posted by: Cass at October 15, 2014 12:09 PM

Re: Make and Model of the gun.

1) While this would be nice to know, even if it were stated I would highly doubt it. I've seen too many reports of AK-15s, AR47, 9mm revolvers, and GLOCK 1911s to trust any gun identification without a picture.

2) This "distinctive gun" is listed as a 9mm Smith and Wesson, a description that sounds more "ubiquitous" than "distinctive". Maybe there's some historical 9mm S&W that would be distinctive, but that description currently fits one of their current best sellers.

Re: Hit rates, Counting, and capacity.

17 shots would be one standard mag from most modern 9mm duty pistols: GLOCK17, S&W M&P9, Sig P226.

That the officer emptied his entire mag doesn't surprise me in the least.

I could see where a grazing hit could be ambiguous as to whether it would look like a gunshot wound or some other injury.

I've never had to level a gun under anything more stressful than a horde of invading rotten pumpkins, but from my baseball days I can tell you I didn't miss very many pitches in batting practice, and I spent a hell of a lot of time there. But that always seemed to be much harder during the games. And that was standing in front of someone who wasn't *trying* to hit me. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2014 12:14 PM

OK, I'll "cop" to poor word choice.

"Distinctive" is the word I should have used when paraphrasing the article :p

The point, I believe, is that it was visually distinctive.

Posted by: Cass at October 15, 2014 12:22 PM

After looking at the pictures at the Before It's News link. I'm guessing it's a S&W Sigma. Their competitor with the GLOCK 17 (so much so that GLOCK sued them for patent infringement and S&W settled).

But yes, visually, there aren't many two-tone pistols. Even on the Sigma it was optional.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2014 12:34 PM

"Distinctive" is the word I should have used when paraphrasing the article :p

Beat me to it, that's the exact wording I would use too. A S&W 9mm, is not rare. But a black and silver S&W 9mm is certainly distinctive, and one matching the very weapon the guy was showing off a few days before is unlikely to the extreme to have been "planted". Either of the other two would be a more likely "plant" if we're going to accept conspiracy. But then again, conspiracy theories are not vulnerable to opposing facts. A true believer will see it as confirmation that it was planted. *sigh*

Posted by: MikeD at October 15, 2014 01:16 PM

Yep, this cop is obviously a hit man that does his research.

I'm sure the Koch brothers are involved.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 15, 2014 01:59 PM

"Also, 17 shots, "six or seven" hits (how do they not know how many, are they unable to count?). I believe that the officer could use some more range time, and that is at least one reload minimum. I'm not disputing that it was a clean shoot. I'm just saying that "spray and pray" is no way to engage a shooter."

It's not uncommon. During concealed carry recurrent training, the Frontsight instructors address this. There are several issues at play.

1. Cops are taught to keep firing until the threat is neutralized.

2. If the first shot didn't kill him, and he presumably still had his gun in his hand, the officer would continue to fire.

3. Remember that the perp fired 3 shots at the officer first. That is cause for adrenalin. During stressful situations, the fine motor reflexes are among the first to go. The hand goes numb, and motor reflexes take over. Most of us have been in a stressful situation where we have had something traumatic happen to us--we may not have any memory of it--we may be injured, but don't even feel the pain.

4. Most shooters are right handed, and the recoil of the handgun creeps from left to right (as seen by the shooter) unless the shooter has a tight brace with the other hand.

5. This was a tactical situation. Most police train on a firing range, where they are graded. Consequently, most of their shots are aimed shots. In tactical situations, police often hit only 20% of the time--FEWER times than a non-professional. The difference--non-professional concealed carry holders have the CHOICE of drawing their weapon or not--police officers do not.

"More time on the range?"--Maybe--but consider the mitigating factors. Maybe more time on a tactical course.

Posted by: frequent flyer at October 15, 2014 04:39 PM

From another article I read, the officer states that many of his shots were "suppression shots". That is, they were taken for the express purpose of keeping his assailant's head down and unable to return fire. The cop would have had no way to know his assailant's gun had jammed.

It's a dangerous tactic as one is just as liable for where those "suppression" shots land as any other: know your target and what's behind it.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 16, 2014 09:45 AM

Please don't misunderstand. That officer had every right to defend himself. He was being fired upon and was justified in returning fire. But nearly 2/3rds of his shots missed the intended target. And they don't cease to exist simply because they miss. YAG hits the nail on the head, he is responsible for every round that leaves his weapon. Hopefully no one or their property was hurt.

Posted by: MikeD at October 16, 2014 10:56 AM

I didn't know police were taught to use suppressive fire. It's a very dangerous tactic if your mission includes protecting the population around you (or even limiting the harm to that population); the only one more dangerous in that regard is reconnaissance by fire.

Posted by: Grim at October 16, 2014 11:38 AM

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 16, 2014 12:21 PM

Thinking about it--I've never heard of anyone killed or wounded by the police in taking down a perp. I'm sure it has happened SOMEWHERE--but I've never heard of it.

What I HAVE seen is innocent bystanders killed or wounded by criminals--either in the commission of a crime or in the subsequent shootout with the police.

In a perfect world, every round would be in the would-be shooter's body--but 7 for 17 isn't all bad! (sarcasm)

Posted by: frequent flyer at October 16, 2014 12:59 PM

What I HAVE seen is innocent bystanders killed or wounded by criminals--either in the commission of a crime or in the subsequent shootout with the police.
This example certainly could fit that definition:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/25/nypd-shooting-bystander-victims-hit-by-police-gunfire/

But I think this example more exemplifies the former:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/nyregion/unarmed-man-is-charged-with-wounding-bystanders-shot-by-police-near-times-square.html?_r=0

Posted by: MikeD at October 16, 2014 01:12 PM

YAG,

I see. The Police Department may need to do more to re-train Marines, then -- a lot of tactics appropriate to an infantry unit or a warzone are badly placed in American neighborhoods.

By the way, the pistol pictured in your article is a S&W SD9 VE, "the lowest priced pistola de plastico in the S&W lineup."

Posted by: Grim at October 16, 2014 03:10 PM

So 7 out of 17 shots found their mark, in a very stressful situation. Compare that with baseball--that's hitting .410--the last guy to hit even close to that well was Ted Williams--70 years ago--and hardly in the stressful situation.

Innocent people were wounded in the example cited--but not killed. It's called "Hobson's Choice"--a choice between unpalatable actions.

All of those wounded had minor injuries, and according to the video--"recovered quickly." Only in the current "Risk Averse" thinking would this be considered BAD. Most people, when faced with the possibility of imminent death, would welcome the POSSIBILITY of being injured by bullet shards ricocheting off the ground. Most people would tell the officer to "shoot him!".

The officers don't have the luxury of hindsight. Given the choice between the possibility of being killed by a criminal, or wounded by the cops in a rescue attempt, I'll bet on the cops.

Posted by: frequent flyer at October 16, 2014 05:47 PM

Rescue operations are inherently dangerous. Even the Navy SEALs killed Linda Norgrove. I say even because of their highly respected training, but actually it's no surprise given their chosen method of a dynamic entry from a helicopter using automatic weapons and grenades.

The military teaches in SERE training that you're supposed to help the rescue team out by getting on the ground, not moving, and not trying to help -- you can't assume they'll know who you are until they've secured the scene and can identify people safely. Norgrove did the right thing, actually, but one of the grenades got tossed right where she was laying.

Of course, if you're not assaulting a Taliban stronghold in the mountains of Afghanistan, you may be able to get away without using fragmentation grenades. That cuts down on the injury rate to hostages! You might also be able to make other tactical changes that will improve outcomes.

You can't expect to eliminate the danger entirely, of course.

Posted by: Grim at October 16, 2014 06:46 PM