UPDATE: BRPD says officer involved in fatal shooting was on a child welfare call

(Photo Credit: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) – UPDATE: 1:45 p.m.: Investigators have learned that a social worker from the Department of Child and Family Services was conducting an investigation into possible child abuse allegations committed by Toney, authorities said.

“Due to the nature of the allegations and previous history involving Toney, the case worker requested an escort from the Baton Rouge Police Department,” the police department said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.\

Shortly after the case worker and a BRPD officer made contact with Toney, he attempted to flee on foot.  A lengthy struggle ensued between Toney and the officer, during which the officer tased Toney multiple times.

During the altercation, the officer fired a single shot from his duty weapon striking Toney in the chest.  After being shot, Toney fled and was later taken into custody by the officer.  While taking Toney into custody, he remained non-compliant and was placed into handcuffs for safety reasons.

Toney remained alert as he was provided medical attention by responding officers.

After EMS arrived, officers removed the handcuffs from Toney so paramedics could render aid. Toney was later pronounced deceased at the scene. The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office released their autopsy findings in a report, which stated that Toney was shot one time in the chest.

Investigators have obtained body camera and surveillance footage, as well as witness statements and 911 calls which are all currently being reviewed.  This incident remains under investigation. 

10:55 a.m.: Officials say a man who was fatally shot in a struggle with a Louisiana police officer died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

That’s according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, which released preliminary results of an autopsy performed Tuesday on 24-year-old Calvin Toney.

Authorities say Toney was shot and killed in an altercation with an officer who had been escorting a state child welfare case worker Monday at a Baton Rouge apartment complex.

Officials have not identified or released any details about the officer. Calvin Coleman, who identified himself as Toney’s father, said his son was black.

Dozens of people, many shouting angrily, had gathered Monday night at the scene of the fatal shooting. By Tuesday morning, they had left the apartment complex.

ORIGINAL STORY: Troopers with Louisiana State Police are investigating a deadly shooting by a Baton Rouge police officer during a struggle, as they worked fast to put to rest a social media rumor that was only making matters worse.

Family members have identified the man as Calvin Toney. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office. Officials have not yet confirmed the identity.

State Police said the trouble started at the Palms Apartments on McClelland Drive just after 6 p.m. when officers with the Baton Rouge Police Department were asked to escort a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) case worker to the complex.

“During the course of that investigation, a struggle ensued with officers and the suspect,” said Sr. Tpr. Bryan Lee with LSP Troop A. “The suspect was shot and killed during that struggle.”

It is standard procedure to have Louisiana State Police investigate a shooting involving a police officer. Troopers would not say whether the man had a gun, but authorities did confirm that the struggle lasted several minutes and that the man was “tased” before being shot. They also worked to dispel a rumor that quickly spread on social media following the shooting.

“Our preliminary investigation shows the suspect was NOT handcuffed at the time he was shot,” Lee explained.

Investigators said the officer who fired the deadly shot suffered only a minor injury. They added he was wearing a body camera and that footage is being reviewed.

“The added value of body cameras for officers certainly will help in situations like this,” said Mayor Sharon Weston Broome.

“It’s a lot of high emotion out here, a lot of mixed views on exactly what happened,” state Rep. C. Denise Marcelle added.

She spoke to a large crowd that gathered near the scene.

“As you see, the crowd is very anxious – emotions are running very high. And, I’ve been trying to keep them as calm as possible,” Marcelle said.

The new head of Louisiana State Police urged calm as his agency looks into what happened.

“Our message to the community is to trust us,” Col. Kevin Reeves, superintendent of LSP, said. “Allow us to do a complete investigation and bear out what the facts may be. And, we’ll certainly give that to the public.”

DCFS confirmed that one of its case workers was at the scene but was not hurt. Officials did not say why they requested the escort from law enforcement or what the case was about.

The LSP Crime Lab, the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation, and the District Attorney’s Office were all called out to the scene to investigate and interview witnesses.

“Truth and transparency will be at the top of any investigation,” Broome added.

Broome also wanted to assure the public that she will be monitoring the investigation and that she will call for transparency throughout the process.

Broome also released a statement Monday night in response to the shooting. The statement reads:

As mayor-president of this city and parish, I am closely monitoring the Baton Rouge Police Department officer-involved shooting that took place tonight. Per protocol, the Louisiana State Police 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 judgement on this incident until the LSP concludes its work.

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