BATON ROUGE, La. (CBSMiami) – The governor of Louisiana announced the U.S. Justice Department will lead the investigation into the shooting death of a black man by Baton Rouge police.READ MORE: Florida Weekly Jobless Claims Dip
In a cellphone video taken by a community activist, two officers had Alton Sterling pinned to the ground. Moments later, gunfire erupted after someone yelled, “He’s got a gun! Gun!”
Sterling was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 37-year-old’s family and community leaders are calling it murder.
Sterling’s son broke down as the teen’s mother addressed the media.
“One of the greatest fears is to see your child hurt and know there was nothing you can do,” Quinyetta McMillon said.
Police said officers were responding to reports of a man selling CDs outside a convenience store who had threatened someone with a gun.READ MORE: Miami Beach Commission To Discuss Fate Of Historic Deauville Beach Resort
The convenience store owner said police took a gun out of the suspect’s pocket after he was shot.
“It is irrelevant. If you look at the video, it speaks for itself. Mr. Sterling was not reaching for weapon,” said Edmund Jordan, the family’s attorney.
The shooting has sparked protests across the city.
The head of the Baton Rouge NAACP is calling for the police chief to be fired.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is promising a complete and impartial investigation.
“I will say that based on the information that I have obtained from law enforcement and certainly the footage that I have observed of the video that was made available, I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing to say the least,” Edwards said.
An autopsy found that sterling died of gunshot wounds to the chest and back.MORE NEWS: London-Bound American Airlines Flight Returned To MIA After Woman Refused To Wear A Mask
The two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative duties pending the investigation.