A Louisiana police officer shot and killed a man following a confrontation outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, authorities said. An autopsy shows Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark.
Officers responded to the store about 12:35 a.m. Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely.
Two officers responded and had some type of altercation with the man and one officer fatally shot the suspect, McKneely said. Both officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is 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 as Sterling fought to get the officer off of him, the first officer shot him "four to six times." A graphic video of the attack went viral on social media.
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.
McKneely said late Tuesday that he could not confirm Muflahi's description of the alleged event or any other details of the investigation.
The Advocate in Baton Rouge reported a crowd of people protesting the shooting gathered late Tuesday afternoon at the store where it took place. The group grew to over 200 people, who chanted and waved signs late into the night, according to the newspaper.
His family spoke out against his killing in a press conference Wednesday morning, and his 15-year-old son broke down in tears as his mother spoke. Sterling's aunt told CNN that her nephew was "like a gentle giant."