Protesters gathered outside a Baton Rouge, La., convenience store Tuesday night to express their outrage over yet another controversial police shooting. Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old man who sold CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart, was shot dead after what cops describe as "some sort of altercation" at 12:35am Tuesday with two officers responding to an anonymous call about an armed man, the Advocate reports. In graphic bystander video circulating online, the officers can be seen pinning Sterling to the ground before apparently shooting him multiple times. The East Baton Rouge Parish coroner says Sterling, who is black, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.
Triple S Food Mart owner Abdullah Muflahi tells the New York Daily News that Sterling bought a gun for protection a few days ago after hearing that other CD sellers had been robbed, but it wasn't in his hand during the confrontation with police, nor was his hand in his pocket. Sterling, who was Tasered during the incident, "was screaming, 'What did I do? What's going on?'" Muflahi says. Muflahi tells the Advocate that after the shooting, the officer who fired the shots cursed and both men appeared to be "freaking out." Both officers are now on administrative leave, and US Rep. Cedric Richmond has called for a federal investigation, saying the video footage is "deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community," NBC News reports.