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St. Louis Police Find Gunshot Residue On Hands, Clothing Of Teen Shot By Officer

Vonderrit Myers, 18, was fatally shot Oct. 8 by police after he first fired at an officer, authorities said. His family disputed that he was armed.

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An 18-year-old fatally shot by officers had gunshot residue on his hands, waistband, and T-shirt, St. Louis Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday.

Vonderrit Myers was shot and killed Oct. 8 by a St. Louis police officer working as a security guard, authorities said. Police said Myers fired three times at the officer before he was killed. Family members said the teen was not armed.

Investigators at the scene recovered a 9 mm Ruger, which they believed belonged to Myers, as well as bullet casings from three guns. Officials said the officer shot 17 times.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Crime Lab, Myers had gunshot residue on his hands.

"The presence of gunshot residue on a person's hands could mean the individual discharged a firearm, was near a firearm when it was discharged, or touched an object with gunshot residue on it. Individuals shot at close range can have gunshot residue deposited onto their hands," a statement said on Tuesday.

Gunshot residue was also found inside his waistband and on his T-shirt, but the tests could not definitively say if the residue on his clothing came from the night he died or some previous contact with a gun. At the time of his death, he was out on bond for a charge of unlawful use of a weapon.

His death inspired anger from protesters who said he was racially profiled. His parents told the Associated Press they believed police were lying when they said Myers had a gun.

Over the weekend, Ferguson October protesters around St. Louis remembered Myers, as well as 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was unarmed when he was shot by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, and John Crawford, who was fatally shot by police in an Ohio Walmart.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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