The Louisiana police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling were responding to him reaching for a gun, a Baton Rouge detective wrote in a court document.
“While the officers were attempting to subdue the subject the officers observed the butt of a gun in the subject’s front pants pocket,” Detective R. Cook wrote in a search warrant affidavit seeking surveillance video from the store, according to CNN. Cook also wrote that the responding officers initially deployed their Tasers when Sterling did not comply with police orders.
Sterling was killed outside a convenience store after police responded to a call about a man with a gun. The killing has sparked nationwide protests against police using excessive force on minorities after graphic video of Sterling’s death hit the Internet.
“When the subject attempted to reach for the gun from his pockets the officers fired their police issued duty weapon at the subject to stop the threat,” Cook wrote. “The subject was shot multiple times and did not survive his injuries.”
Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back, East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark said.
A witness captured 48 seconds of the killing outside Triple S. Food Mart in a graphic video that culminates in an officer aiming his duty gun inches from Sterling’s body as he and his partner pinned him to the ground.