WASHINGTON, October 10 (Ria Novosti) - One arrest was made and three police cars were damaged during the unrest following the officer-involved fatal shooting in St. Louis, Missouri, the St. Louis police spokesman told RIA Novosti on Thursday.
"Three St. Louis Police Department vehicles were damaged during unrest after the incident," Schron Jackson said, adding that one person was also taken into custody after being found in possession of a handgun.
He explained that the officers observed the suspects inside a vehicle putting on ski masks, and stopped the vehicle. The investigation revealed that the suspect possessing a handgun is a convicted felon. He was later taken into custody.
The protests began on Wednesday night in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis after an off-duty white police officer shot dead African-American teenager Vonderrick Myers. According to the police, the officer returned the fire after Myers fired three shots at him.
Jackson said that on Wednesday night, the officer was working secondary for a private security company patrolling the Shaw neighborhood. As he drove past three males, one of them began to run, but then stopped. The officer did a U-turn, and observed them, and then chased at one point exiting his vehicle.
"The officer observed the male running and holding his waistband, causing the officer to believe the suspect had a gun," the spokesman said.
"The suspect then began to approach the officer in an aggressive manner. The officer gave the suspect verbal commands, instructing him to surrender. The suspect continued to move toward the officer," he added.
The police spokesperson noted that then followed a physical altercation, during which Myers" shirt came off him and the officer saw what he suspected was a gun.
"The officer wanted to be certain what the suspect had was a gun, and did not immediately fire at the suspect," Jackson said. "The suspect then turned toward the officer, pointed the gun at the officer and fired at least three rounds."
"As the suspect fired at the officer, fearing for his safety, the officer returned fire," the spokesman underlined, noting that Myers continued pulling the trigger as the officer was approaching.
"Upon recovery of the gun, investigation revealed the gun had malfunctioned and had jammed after firing at least three rounds. As the suspect continued to point the gun toward the officer and pull the trigger, the officer continued to fire shots at the suspect, fatally wounding him."
Myers, 18, was pronounced deceased on the scene. His 9mm handgun, recovered at the scene, was reported stolen on September 26.
"Per department policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave," Jackson said, clarifying that secondary employment allows officers to work security in uniform and carry their department-issued weapons.
"The officer, while not on duty for the Police Department, still has the same responsibilities and power to affect arrest and the officer operates in the capacity as a St. Louis Police Officer. St. Louis Police Officers work secondary for securities companies, business establishments, sporting events, etc."
"The Force Investigative Unit responded and is investigating. The investigation is ongoing," Jackson concluded.
The death of Myers is the second such incident in St. Louis County since August, when police officer Darren Wilson, also white, shot dead Michael Brown, another 18-year-old African American.