An officer-involved shooting resulted in a fatality at a Baton Rouge apartment complex Monday evening, according to a Louisiana State Police spokesman.
The Baton Rouge police officer was escorting an employee from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to the Palms apartment complex when a struggle ensued, culminating in the fatal shooting, spokesman Bryan Lee told reporters at a news conference.
Lee did not specify whether the victim was involved in the DCFS visit to the apartment complex. A large crowd gathered near the shooting scene, according to CNN affiliate WBRZ.
The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office are currently at the apartment complex investigating the incident, according to Lee.
The identities of the shooting victim and officer are not being released at this time, but Lee told reporters the officer sustained a minor injury and was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting.
Shooting victim ‘not handcuffed’
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore, III told reporters the victim in Monday night’s officer-involved shooting was not handcuffed at the time he was shot.
“We really are early on in this investigation, state police are here doing the job they always do,” Moore said. “From all the indications that we have, from video, from statements, that is not the case, he was not handcuffed when he shot.”
Moore said the shooting occurred after a long struggle with officers at the apartment complex around 6 p.m. CT Monday night.
A Taser was deployed an unknown number of times and there was a struggle between the victim and officers over the Taser and weapons prior to the shooting, according to Moore.
Mayor: Don’t jump to conclusions
Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome urged residents to “withhold judgment” on the shooting, asking that they instead let the Louisiana police complete its investigation.
“As mayor-president of this city and parish, I am closely monitoring the Baton Rouge Police Department officer-involved shooting that took place tonight, Weston Broom said in a statement.
“Per protocol, the Louisiana State Police (LSP) is investigating this case. I am sure that the LSP will demonstrate the highest level of transparency throughout this investigation. I ask that the community withhold judgment on this incident until the LSP concludes its work.”
Baton Rouge is the city in which Alton Sterling, a black resident whose death at the hands of police sparked huge protests in the city.
Sterling, 37, was killed by police in July 2016. He was shot outside a convenience store after police responded to a call about a man threatening another man with a gun.
Cellphone video showed Sterling pinned to the ground by the white officers before he was shot, but police said he was reaching for a gun.
His death helped spur nationwide protests against excessive force by police. A Missouri man ambushed and killed three law officers and wounded three others in the Louisiana city in the weeks following Sterling’s death.
No federal charges against the officers were filed following his death as prosecutors determined there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant civil rights charges against Baton Rouge police officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II.