(ST. LOUIS) — A white off-duty police officer fatally shot a black man in south St. Louis Wednesday, sparking a night of unrest and activism not far from where Michael Brown was killed last Aug. 9.
Wednesday night’s shooting involved an officer working a department-approved secondary job for a private security company, police said in a statement.
The officer approached a group of three men, police said, and one of the men took off running. Then, all three ran so the officer chased them, eventually getting into a physical confrontation with one.
The suspect then allegedly fired a gun at the officer so the 32-year-old officer returned fire, fatally shooting the man, according to the police report.
A gun was recovered at the scene. The officer was not injured but was placed on administrative leave, as per department policy, police said.
Following the shooting, activists took to the streets of St. Louis, demanding answers.
People also shared their frustration on social media, with #shawshooting the most popular national trending topic on Twitter.
Meanwhile, a cousin of the dead man claims he was holding a sandwich, not a gun.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch identified the black male as Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18.
According to the Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said during a briefing that the off-duty officer fired off 17 shots after he was shot at three times.
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