(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Officials on Wednesday released the names of the two police officers who were placed on paid administrative leave after an officer-involved shooting that left a black man dead outside a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, convenience store.
Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran, were placed on leave in connection with the death of Alton Sterling, according to a Baton Rouge police news release.
Both officers work in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Sterling, 37, was killed early Tuesday in a shooting that was captured on cellphone video. The video, which authorities have not yet confirmed, shows the incident in which two officers appear to struggle with Sterling and slam him to the ground. One man seems to yell “gun.” Then at least two shots are fired while the officers are close to Sterling.
Baton Rouge police said the incident began when uniformed officers responded to a disturbance call from someone who said a black man who was selling CDs threatened him with a gun.
Officers approached Sterling in the parking lot of the convenience store, and “an altercation between Sterling and the officers ensued,” police said. He was shot during the altercation and died at the scene, police said.
The coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish said Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and back.
Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. called Sterling’s death a “horrible tragedy” and described the incident as an “altercation” that “resulted in the loss of his life.”
“There’s a lot that we do not understand,” Dabadie said. “I am demanding answers.”
There is video from the police body cameras — which became dislodged during the incident but continued recording — as well as video from the patrol car camera and the store, officials said Wednesday.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that the investigation into the shooting will be led by the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.
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