Coroner says man shot by BRPD multiple times in chest, back; officer body cameras fell off
BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office says a man who was shot during an officer-involved shooting on North Foster Drive early Tuesday morning died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle who had a conversation with Police Chief Carl Dabadie, confirmed to the Investigative Unit that both body cameras that the officers involved in the shooting were wearing fell off during the incident.
According to BRPD Cpl. L’Jean Mckneely, the cameras are still in the pilot program and the footage is still useful.
Family members identified the man killed by a Baton Rouge police officer early Tuesday morning. Alton Sterling, known as the "CD Man" was shot to death by police outside the Triple-S convenience store on North Foster Drive and Fairfields Avenue. The coroner confirmed the cause of death later on Tuesday after an autopsy was performed on Sterling's remains.
Police say they responded to an anonymous call around 12:30 a.m. about a man selling CDs who also had a gun on him. When police arrived, Sterling and officers got into an altercation. One officer shot and killed Sterling.
The store's owner Abdul Muflahi said he was just a few feet away when he watched the shooting happen. He said at first Sterling and the officers were arguing. Then he said he saw the officers wrestle with Sterling against a car, throw him to the ground, and tase him in order to subdue him. After tasing him, according to Muflahi, Sterling appeared to be unfazed and police shot Sterling four to six times.
"I don't think it was handled correctly at all," said Muflahi. "It could have been handled, the situation, better than it did."
Image: Muflahi (R)
Muflahi said Sterling did carry a gun, but he did not have it in his hand during the altercation with police. He said he saw police remove a gun from Sterling's pant's pocket after he was shot to death.
Muflahi said Sterling had sold CDs outside his store for years. He said the man started carrying a gun a few weeks ago after a friend of his was robbed.
Sterling has a criminal history that consists of charges of carnal knowledge of a juvenile back in 2000. He also pleaded guilty to illegal carrying of a weapon with drugs and possession of marijuana in 2011 and was sentenced to five years.
In 2015, an arrest warrant was issued for Sterling for failure to register as a sex offender.
A family member told WBRZ that Sterling was recently incarcerated, but had been doing fine since his release.
A spokesperson for Baton Rouge Police says the officer who shot Sterling on Tuesday is on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.
Investigators are looking at footage from the dashcam from police cruisers, police body cameras and surveillance footage from the store.
In a conversation with WBRZ on Tuesday, Mayor Kip Holden said that a full and fair investigation will be conducted regarding the shooting.
“This is not going to be a cover up,” Holden said.