Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET
The two police officers involved in last summer’s fatal shooting of 37-year-old Alton Sterling will not be charged, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing four people familiar with the matter. Sterling’s death sparked outcry in July when video footage from bystanders’ cell phones showed him being shot and killed by the officers from the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Shortly before the incident, the two officers, Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, received a 911 phone call from a homeless man, who reported that a person believed to be Sterling was threatening him with a handgun. At the time, Sterling was selling CDs outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge. When the officers arrived at the scene, they tased Sterling, forced him onto the hood of a nearby sedan, then pinned him to the ground. Video footage reveals one officer shouting, “He’s got a gun!” immediately before the shooting.
A search warrant affidavit claims the officers saw the butt of a gun in Sterling’s pocket, and a witness later reported seeing the police retrieve a weapon from Sterling’s person. It remains unclear whether Sterling reached for the gun during the confrontation, though the same witness claims he did not see a weapon in Sterling’s hands.