US police officer fatally shoots suspect, sparking protest

(File)
(File)

Baton Rouge – A Louisiana police officer shot and killed a man during a confrontation outside a convenience store, authorities said, in a death that prompted a protest later in the day.

An autopsy shows Alton Sterling, 37, of Baton Rouge, died on Tuesday of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark said.

Officers responded to the store at about 00:35 on Tuesday after an anonymous caller indicated a man selling music CDs and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun, police corporal L'Jean McKneely said.

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.

Shot 'four to six times'

The store's owner, Abdul Muflahi, told WAFB-TV that the first officer used a stun gun 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".

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 on Tuesday that he could not confirm Muflahi's description of the event or any other details of the investigation.

The Advocate daily newspaper reported that a crowd of people protesting the shooting gathered late on 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.

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