Source: Only one officer fired shots in Alton Sterling shooting

Source: Only one officer fired shots in Alton Sterling shooting
Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A preliminary investigation by Baton Rouge police determined only one of the two officers fired their weapon at the scene of the deadly shooting of Alton Sterling.

Sources close to the case tell the 9News Investigators that Officer Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran of the force, is the officer believed to have fired all of the shots.

On Tuesday, July 5, police were called regarding a man who was outside of the Triple S Food Mart on N. Foster Drive. The caller allegedly told police the man had a gun and threatened someone.

Officials say Officer Blane Salamoni, 28, and Officer Howie Lake II, 28, responded to the call. They say an altercation ensued between the officers and 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who was allegedly outside the store selling CDs.

The store owner, who witnessed the shooting, said things quickly got out of control. One officer used a stun gun on Sterling, then the other officer tackled Sterling to the ground. According to the store owner, the officers shot Sterling four to six times shortly after he was tackled.

An autopsy conducted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office revealed that Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds to his back and chest.

Officials said both officers had on body cameras, but they fell off during the struggle and do not show the shooting. However, authorities were analyzing dash cam video and store surveillance video, which are believed to have captured the ordeal.

Police said both officers were placed paid administrative leave immediately after the shooting, which is standard protocol. On Wednesday evening, 19th Judicial District Attorney Hillar Moore confirmed that both officers said they felt their actions were justified just after the shooting.

Officials announced late Wednesday morning that the investigation would be handed over to the FBI. Moore said Thursday afternoon that the district attorney's office would not make a move on the case until the federal investigators wrapped up their investigation.

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