BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – The Baton Rouge Police Department identified the two officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling.
On Tuesday, July 5, police were called regarding a man who was outside of the Triple S Food Mart on N. Foster Drive. The caller allegedly told police the man had a gun and threatened someone.
Officials say Officer Blane Salamoni and Officer Howie Lake II responded to the call. They say an altercation ensued between the officers and 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who was allegedly outside the store selling CDs.
Police said both officers were placed paid administrative leave immediately after the shooting, which is standard protocol.
On Wednesday evening, 19th Judicial District Attorney Hillar Moore confirmed that both officers said they felt their actions were justified just after the shooting.
Officials added that Salamoni, 28, has been with the force four years, while Lake, 28, has been with the department for three. BRPD said both officers work in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Lake was one of six officers put on administrative leave in 2014 following the shooting of 28-year-old Kevin Knight, a sex offender.
Police responded to a complaint about Knight, who they say opened fire as he tried to elude them and they fired back. Knight survived the shooting. After an internal investigation, Lake did not face any charges, but WAFB’s records request should reveal if he was disciplined.
The BRPD Facebook page says Lake was awarded a ‘Certificate of Commendation’ in 2015.
Meanwhile, Salamoni is from a family of police officers. His father, Captain Noel Salamoni, is the commander of BRPD’S Special Ops and was a finalist for the police chief job three years ago. His mother, Melissa, is a retired police captain.
The department’s Facebook page says he won a “life-saving” award last year. Salamoni is a graduate of Catholic High School and Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.
WAFB expects to receive the records request Thursday.