(BATON ROUGE, La.) — A black man was shot and killed following a confrontation with officers outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, Louisiana police confirmed.
The deadly encounter took place early Tuesday when officers responded to the scene after receiving a disturbance call from an individual who said they had been threatened by a man with a gun, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Authorities said they made contact with 37-year-old Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling at 12:35 a.m. in the parking lot of the business. Police have so far confirmed that the incident resulted in shots being fired and Sterling dying at the scene. Two officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated, per the department’s standard procedure.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark said preliminary results from the autopsy showed Sterling suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
Investigators said they’re looking at dashcam footage from police cruisers, police body cameras and surveillance footage from the store, according to ABC Baton Rouge affiliate, WBRZ.
A graphic cell phone video is being circulated on social media purporting to show part of the altercation in front of the convenience store. The video — which authorities have not yet confirmed — has caused backlash in the community as protesters organized outside the store late Tuesday.
Protesters chanted “Black lives matter” and blocked street traffic, according to video shot at the scene by WBRZ.
Cars now blocking the street and intersection. People jumping on cars and a semi. pic.twitter.com/gaucLfKwas
— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) July 6, 2016
U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, a Democrat who represents Louisiana’s 2nd District, said in a statement, “The video footage released today of the shooting of Alton Sterling by officers of the Baton Rouge Police Department was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community.”
“There are a number of unanswered questions surrounding Mr. Sterling’s death,” Richmond added. “Including questions about the initial calls for police presence, the level of force used by officers, the verbal and physical altercation, and the response of the officers after he was shot.”
A news conference is planned for later Wednesday morning with state representative C. Denise Marcelle and other community leaders on the steps of the Baton Rouge City Hall.
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