The African-American community have been left outraged after a white police officer shot a father-of-five, six times because he was selling CD's outside a convenient store. The heartbreaking scene was caught on camera by passersby.
According to TheAdvocate.com, Alton Sterling, a 37-year old man who sold CDs, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge police officer Tuesday morning outside a convenience store on North Foster Drive after “some type of altercation” with two officers, officials said.
Baton Rouge police did not provide much information about what escalated the incident between the officers and Sterling or what prompted an officer to fire his weapon. A witness, however, described police as “aggressive” and said Sterling was armed but was not holding his gun or touching his pockets during the incident. Police later retrieved a gun from the man’s pocket, said the witness, shop owner Abdullah Muflahi.
Around 12:35 a.m., Baton Rouge police responded to the Triple S Food Mart at 2112 N. Foster Drive after an anonymous caller indicated that a man in a red shirt who was selling CDs outside the store pointed a gun at someone, telling them to leave the property, Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said.
East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner William “Beau” Clark said the initial results of an autopsy performed Tuesday show Sterling died due to a homicide and suffered multiple — meaning more than two — gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
A 48-second cellphone video captured by a bystander - which circulated at a protest about the shooting later in the day - shows an officer firing at least one round into a man’s chest outside what appears to be the Triple S store, followed by the sound of at least four more shots as the camera veers away.
“Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” an officer is heard yelling in the beginning of the clip.
Two officers are seen wrangling a heavy-set man in a red shirt against a silver sedan before pulling him to the ground on his back.
One officer is seen pulling the man’s left arm down while he pressed down on the man’s chest. The man’s right arm is not visible in the video.
“He’s got a gun! Gun,” an officer says, prompting the lawman closest to the camera to draw an object from his holster.
“You f*****g move, I swear to God,” says an officer, before the second officer, farther from the viewer, is seen pointing a weapon down at the man’s chest.
There’s a flash from that officer’s weapon, accompanied by the sound of shots.
“They shot him?” a man’s harried voice, close to the microphone, says in the video. “Yes!” a weeping woman replies.
Abdullah Muflahi - the man who own the shop where Sterling was killed said he was two feet away from the altercation and saw everything. He said the victim never pulled out a gun against the officers. He said an officer yelled “gun” during the scuffle. An officer then fired four to six shots into Sterling’s chest, he said.
“His hand was nowhere (near) his pocket,” Muflahi said, adding that Sterling wasn’t holding a weapon. After the shooting, an officer reached into Sterling’s pocket and retrieved a handgun, Muflahi said. “They were really aggressive with him from the start,” Muflahi said about the officers.
Sterling appeared to die quickly, Muflahi said. Just after the killing, the officer who fired the bullets cursed, and both officers seemed like they were “freaking out,” Muflahi said.
The store owner said he heard one of the officers say, “Just leave him.”