Three men were injured Saturday night in St. Louis as gunfire broke out during a candlelight vigil for an 18-year-old fatally shot by a St. Louis police officer two years earlier.
The men, all in their 20s, were shot as they attended a memorial service for VonDerrit Myers Jr. in the 4200 block of Shaw Boulevard near the Missouri Botanical Garden, according to St. Louis police.
Dozens of people who had gathered for the vigil scattered as the shots were fired, according to a witness.
The first victim, a man in his early 20s, was found at 7:10 p.m. with a wound to his leg. He was taken to a hospital. Shortly thereafter, a second person was found with a graze wound at Shaw and Klemm Street.
A third shooting victim arrived at a hospital in a private vehicle.
A police incident summary described the injuries as minor.
Kevin McGrane, a deacon at St. John Episcopal Church on Arsenal Street, walked to the prayer vigil held for Myers Jr., who was fatally shot by St. Louis police Officer Jason Flanery on Oct. 8, 2014.
Investigations by police and prosecutors found that Flanery, who was in uniform but working private security that night, had returned fire after Myers had run from and fired at him.
Just 10 minutes into the prayer vigil, chaos erupted, McGrane said.
At least 50 people, including Myers’ family, were present when the vigil was interrupted by a disturbance in the street where several young men were arguing with one another, McGrane said.
“Mr. Myers Sr. and others tried to separate the group when someone pulled out a gun and started shooting,” McGrane said. “They started shooting, and then someone else started shooting. There were multiple shots fired all over the place.”
The three victims told officers they were hit as they tried to run from the gunmen, police said.
McGrane said women had run with their children as fast as they could.
“It was pretty bad,” he said. “Up until that moment it was peaceful.”
McGrane, who also had attended a similar vigil last year, said it was sad to see.
“It was where they tried to honor his memory,” he said. “What a burden to carry.”This epoch is ending, and with it dies any sympathy for coddling the thugs and criminals who held America hostage for decades... namely, because those managerial-elite in power who tolerated black criminality will no longer hold any positions of authority.