Feds seal Alton Sterling autopsy results
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana has issued a federal court order keeping the Alton Sterling autopsy report sealed, preventing it from being released to the public.
In response to a request from WAFB about the order, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office said, "We have been issued a second Federal Court Order prohibiting the release of the first court order as well."
The coroner's office reported Sterling, 37, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the back and chest. However, federal authorities will not allow the release of additional information, including the toxicology analysis.
Investigators are still working to piece together what prompted the deadly officer-involved shooting. The Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed that Sterling died after being shot during an altercation at the Triple S Food Mart on July 5. The store is located at the corner of Fairfields Avenue and North Foster Drive.
Officials said Officer Blane Salamoni and Officer Howie Lake II responded to the call around 12:30 a.m. They reported an altercation ensued between the officers and Sterling, who was said to be outside the store selling CDs. Abdullah Muflahi owns the store and said he knew Sterling. He also witnessed the shooting and said things quickly got out of control.
Muflahi claims one officer used a stun gun on Sterling and the second officer tackled him to the ground, where Sterling struggled with the officer who had tackled him and was trying to get the officer "off the top of him." According to the store owner, the officers shot Sterling four to six times shortly after he was tackled.
Muflahi said he did not see a gun in Sterling's hand, but he said he did see officers pull a gun out of Sterling's pocket after the shooting.
The officers were placed on administrative leave after the shooting, which is standard procedure. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore confirmed that both officers said they felt their actions were justified just after the shooting.
Officials said both officers had on body cameras, but they fell off during the struggle and do not show the shooting. However, there is footage from the dashboard camera from one of the patrol cars, as well as from at least one store surveillance camera, which is believed to have captured the ordeal.
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