A Louisiana police officer shot and killed a black man following a confrontation outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, authorities said.
An autopsy showed Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died on Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, said East Baton Rouge parish coroner Dr William Clark.
Officers had responded to the store at about 12.35am on Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt had threatened him with a gun, said corporal L’Jean McKneely.
Two officers responded and there was an altercation with the man, then one officer fatally shot the suspect, McKneely said. Both officers were placed on administrative leave under standard department policy, he said.
The store’s owner, Abdul Muflahi, told WAFB-TV that the first officer used a Taser on Sterling and the second officer tackled the man. Muflahi said that as Sterling fought to get the officer off him the first officer shot him “four to six times”.
— Quencie (@StudioQTV) July 6, 2016
Video of the shooting that circulated on Twitter sparked outrage.
Muflani 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.
McKneely said late on Tuesday that he could not confirm Muflahi’s description of the alleged event or any other details of the investigation.
On Tuesday night about 150 protesters took to the streets of Baton Rouge chanting “Black Lives Matter” and “No justice, no peace”.
The protest continued past midnight and demonstrators said they would hold a rally outside city hall on Wednesday morning.
“We’ve seen a video that’s disturbing, and gruesome,” Mike McClanahan, Baton Rouge president of the NAACP, who was among the protesters for much of the evening, told the Advocate. “We know that justice must be served.”