Noted pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht spoke at a press conference today about his initial findings from the autopsy of Vonderritt Myers, the St. Louis teenager who reportedly fired multiple times at a pursuing cop with a stolen 9mm Smith & Wesson Sigma pistol.
Wecht says six of the eight bullets struck Myers from behind in the legs. The fatal shot struck Myers in the head. The family and supporters are now insisting that the findings suggest that Myers was “murdered.”
The family of Vonderritt Myers Jr. hired pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to perform an independent autopsy on the teen’s body after he was shot by a St. Louis police officer. Dr. Wecht released his initial findings in a news conference Thursday afternoon.
Wecht says Myers was shot eight times – six of those shots were fired at his back, possibly as Vonderitt ran from the police officer.
Wecht showed the wounds in Vonderitt’s legs and said one of the shots shattered his femur.
Wecht also says Vonderitt was shot in the groin and the fatal shot was to the right side of his head between his eye brow and ear. Attorney’s for Myers’ family says the shots are consistent with what eye-witnesses said at the scene — that Myers was running away from the officer.
Curiously missing from Wecht’s press conference is a discussion of the angle of the shots that struck Myers in the legs. While I don’t claim to be a pathologist (nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), it seems possible from this layman’s perspective that Myers fired the shots he fired at the officer, realized that his weapon malfunctioned, and began to turn to try to flee.
It seems plausible that that the officer’s shot struck Myers in the head as Myers was turning to run.
It would also seem plausible that if this fatal shot to the head—which Dr. Wecht stressed would have rendered Myers unconscious immediately—came as Myers was turning from the officer, that the six shots that struck Myers from behind could have struck him immediately after he was fatally shot, either hitting his body in the legs as it dropped, or after it was already on the ground.
Wecht goes so far as to mention that one of the bullets that struck Myers in the right rear thigh exited his right groin, hinting that at least that bullet was fired as Myers was facing away from the officer and leaning (falling away, perhaps laying facing away from the officer?) at a significant angle.
Predictably, the “hands up don’t shoot” brigade are completely glossing over the fact that other forensic evidence shows that three bullets matching Myers gun were found near the officer’s position, and that a fourth bullet believed to be from his gun was recovered after striking a vehicle behind the officer and fragmenting. They’re neglecting to mention that Myers fired first, and that a jammed pistol with rounds in the magazine was discovered with this body, and that gunshot residue shows that he not only fired the gun, but that he had keep it thrust in his pants prior to the shooting.
While they certainly don’t want to hear it, it isn’t remotely “murder” when your weapon malfunctions and you are then shot and killed as you attempt to make a break for it after failing to murder another human being. The officer could not have known in the dark that Myers had a weapon malfunction. He only know that a man had tried to kill him, and that he was going to try to kill him right back before Myers tried to kill him again.
That isn’t “murder.” That’s losing a fight you started.