Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II: These are the names of the two Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers who shot and killed Alton Sterling early Tuesday morning. Both were put on paid administrative leave.
Salamoni is a 4-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. The 28-year-old is in the uniform patrol division. His wife, Allison, is a local EMT, The Heavy wrote. He graduated from Catholic High School in 2006. Four years later, he graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University.
He has family ties to the BRPD. His father, Noel, is a commander of the department’s Special Operations Division. He’s been involved with the force for 34 years, his LinkedIn profile says. His mother, Melissa, was a captain for the Baton Rouge police until she retired, her LinkedIn profile says.
Lake, also 28, is a 3-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department. Despite a short tenure with the BRPD, it’s not the first time he’s been placed on administrative leave. He was one of six officers who shot 28-year-old Kevin Knight in 2009, WAFB-TV reported at the time. Knight survived the incident.
Before the officers were identified, it was rumored Robert Kinnison was one of the officers. That information turned out to be incorrect.
Sterling, 37, was selling CDs outside a convenience store when authorities received a tip he was threatening someone with a gun. A 48-second cellphone video showed gunfire erupt when one of the officers yelled, “He’s got a gun!” Sterling was pronounced dead at the scene.
District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said the officers were warranted in shooting Sterling. “The officers feel they were completely justified,” Moore said at a press conference.
As protests erupted, there were calls for Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr.to step down. “I’m not resigning. I’m not retiring,” Dabadie said at a news conference Wednesday, according to The Advocate. He said he would welcome the U.S. Department of Justice investigating the shooting. "It is our goal and our mission to make sure that a thorough, just, transparent and independent investigation be conducted into this incident," Dabadie said.
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