Louisiana police shot and killed a 37-year-old man outside a Baton Rouge convenience store early Tuesday, triggering outrage and protests in the city well into the evening. Police say they shot Alton Sterling during an “altercation” after receiving a call saying a man selling music was threatening people with a gun. A cellphone video shows a 48-second clip of what appears to be the shooting, beginning with officers taking Sterling to the ground and ending with at least one officer firing several times into Sterling’s chest. Sterling’s right arm was not visible throughout the video.
Shop owner Abdullah Muflahi, a witness, told reporters that police were “aggressive” with Sterling from the beginning of the interaction and that he was armed but did not appear to be holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident. Police said a gun was recovered.
A spokesman for the Baton Rogue police said the officers will be interviewed Wednesday and the shooting is under investigation. The officers were wearing body cameras, according to police, but they became unsecured from their uniforms during the altercation. Muflahi, the shop owner, said police have taken surveillance video from the store as well.
As video of the incident circulated on social media late Tuesday, Baton Rouge became the latest site of Black Lives Matter protests with more than a hundred people taking to the streets.