02:27 - Source: CNN
Mom of teen shot: My life is empty now

Story highlights

Medical examiner said the teen was hit seven or eight times

Police: Officer fired at least 17 shots, the suspect at least 3

The officer was not injured; a gun was recovered

Protests are planned this weekend in Ferguson, St. Louis

CNN  — 

Protesters took to St. Louis streets for a second night Thursday after an off-duty officer killed a teen who fired at him three times, authorities said.

“All but one gunshot wound were to the lower extremities,” Graham said. “The one fatal wound was to the head.”

Police said the teen fired a pistol three times at an off-duty St. Louis officer who was wearing his uniform while moonlighting for a security company. The officer fired back 17 times, authorities said.

Angry protesters pointed out similarities to the August killing of Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

Myers and Brown were both 18, African-American and killed by white police officers. One big difference: Police said Brown was unarmed.

“It’s a clear case of this young man being gunned down by an insensitive white officer who was off-duty,” Akbar Muhammad, who also is a member of a coalition calling for the officer who shot Brown to be prosecuted, told CNN affiliate KTVI.

Neil Bruntrager, a lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers’ Association, dismissed accusations that 17 shots were excessive.

“When he uses deadly force, he uses deadly force until the threat is gone,” he said on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Without video of the incident or unbiased witnesses, the police and the public must rely on physical evidence, he said. A 9 mm pistol allegedly fired by Myers was found at the scene, police said. It was jammed, which shows that it had been fired, Bruntrager said.

But Van Jones, a civil rights activist and CNN contributor, said there’s a lot of police mistrust after the Brown killing.

“You’re seeing a wholesale breakdown of trust,” he said.

Thursday night, St. Louis residents held a candlelight vigil for Myers at a sandwich shop where he bought food shortly before being shot. They sang hymns, prayed and released balloons into the air.

Speakers urged the people to remain peaceful.

“The chief did an outstanding job yesterday, keeping the tension down between the police officers, as well the protesters,” Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis said to KTVI. “It is an unfortunate situation. My heart goes out to the family, but again from what I am hearing it was a direct correlation to racial profiling, racial profiling went deadly.”

The death comes on the heels of the Brown shooting two months ago in the suburb of Ferguson, and just ahead of a “Weekend of Resistance” in St. Louis, where activists will push for movement in the investigation into that case.

Tensions are already high in the community, and it’s uncertain how the latest shooting will affect its mood.

An animated crowd quickly gathered late Wednesday near the site close to the Missouri Botanical Garden, chanting slogans as St. Louis police officers stood by.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, these killer cops have got to go,” the crowd chanted, repurposing a popular chant from the Brown protests.

The confrontations with police were intense and laced with profanity.

“That was somebody’s baby,” screamed one man, referring to the man who was killed.

“Think about your own child,” pleaded another person in the crowd.

Despite the tensions, Dotson said no businesses were looted and no windows were smashed. He praised officers for showing a “tremendous amount of restraint” as members of the crowd confronted them face-to-face and damaged police cruisers.

CNN affiliate KMOV reported that a post office was damaged.

Complete coverage of Ferguson

The officer, a six-year veteran who has not been named, was placed on administrative leave. He served two tours of duty with the military in Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart, Bruntrager said.

While on patrol, the officer saw three men run away as he approached, Dotson said. He chased them after one held up his pants in a way that made the officer believe he may be carrying a gun, Dotson said.

The officer tussled with one teen, who ran off, then turned around and fired at least three shots toward him, Dotson said.

The officer returned fire, killing the teen.

Online court documents show Myers was arrested June 27 and charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a felony, and resisting arrest. He’d been released on bond.

A hearing scheduled for Monday had been postponed, with the next hearing on November 17, the documents show.

The two other males have not been apprehended.

A man describing himself as the owner of Regal Foods in St. Louis, but who didn’t want to give his name, told CNN in a phone interview that Myers was in his store before the shooting.

Myers was wearing a T-shirt, the store owner said, adding that he didn’t see a gun. The teen bought a sandwich and left. He was shot across the street from the store about 10 minutes later, he said.

Myers’ cousin, Latara Franks, said another cousin, her brother and a family friend were with Myers, and they confirmed to her he purchased a sandwich at a corner store shortly before the shooting.

“He got in trouble with police, but he went to school and work,” Franks said of Myers. “I can’t believe they did him like this.”

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This weekend’s protests start with a rally outside the office of the prosecutor investigating the Brown shooting.

Demonstrators will call for Bob McCulloch to step aside and allow a special prosecutor to be appointed.

Additional marches are planned over the weekend around the St. Louis region, organizers said.

CNN’s Shawn Nottingham, Eliott C. McLaughlin, Dave Alsup, Tony Marco, Bill Kirkos and Dana Ford contributed to this report.