A Louisiana police officer shot and killed a man after a confrontation outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, authorities said.
An autopsy showed that Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark said.
Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated that a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
Two officers responded and had some type of altercation with Sterling, and one officer fatally shot him, McKneely said. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard department policy, he said.
The store’s owner, Abdul Muflahi, told The Advocate he saw the officers tackle Sterling, user a Taser on him, and pin him to ground. After that, one officer yelled “gun” and another fired four to six shots, according to Muflahi.
The owner said Sterling did not have a gun in his hand at the time but he saw officers remove a gun from Sterling’s pocket after the shooting.
Maya Lau, a criminal justice reporter for The Advocate, tweeted the video below of Muflahi explaining what he saw.
Muflahi also told The Advocate that Sterling had been selling CDs outside his store and in the area for several years and started carrying a gun after a friend of his was mugged.
McKneely did not immediately respond to an email and phone call about Muflahi’s comments. He asked anyone with video evidence to turn it over to police, according to The Advocate.
A cellphone video,circulating on social media and published by The Advocate, appears to show the fatal altercation.
The footage, shot from inside a nearby parked car, shows two officers tackling a man in a red shirt and holding him down. One officer audibly yells that the man has a gun and the other officer holds a gun to the man’s chest, although the person filming cuts away before any shots are heard.
The Advocate identified Sterling as the man in the red shirt, though police have not confirmed his identity nor the validity of the video.