Everything We Know About Howie Lake, One of the Officers Who Shot Alton Sterling


On Wednesday, officials in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, named Howie Lake II as one of two officers who involved in the fatal shooting incident of Alton Sterling. Based on available information, it was unclear if Lake was the officer who fired the shots. Blane Salamoni was named as the second officer in the shooting incident.

Sterling, a 37-year-old black resident of Baton Rouge, died Tuesday after the encounter with the officers outside of a Triple S Food Mart in East Baton Rouge Parish. One officer used a stun gun on Sterling and another tackled him to the ground, before multiple shots were fired into his chest and back, authorities said.

Both Lake and the other officer told East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore that they felt "completely justified in using deadly force" in the encounter with Sterling, according to the Advocate's Maya Lau.

Here's what else we know about Lake:

He is a three-year veteran of the Baton Rouge Police Department.

An initial search did not turn up records of disciplinary actions or misconduct allegations against Lake. The officer received a Certificate of Commendation in 2015, according to a post on the Baton Rouge Police Department's Facebook page.

Lake had been placed on administrative leave with pay following the December 2014 nonfatal shooting of Kevin Knight. The 28-year-old African-American man allegedly shot at several officers responding to a domestic disturbance in Baton Rouge. Five other officers were put on administrative leave with Lake, according to WAFB-TV.

It was not immediately clear how much the officer is paid on the Baton Rouge force. According to a 2015 report by the Advocate, the starting salary of an officer in the BRPD is $31,390. 

He is assigned to the Uniformed Patrol Division.

The division is the largest bureau of the Baton Rouge Police Department and "is the primary point of contact for services to the public," according the city government's website.

He is on leave while federal officials take over the investigation.

As is standard procedure after shootings, Lake was placed on administrative leave for the duration of the investigation. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that the shooting would be investigated by the United States' Department of Justice's civil rights division.

He may have been wearing a body camera that fell off during the incident.

Lake and the other officer both wore body cameras during the incident, according to WAFB-TV. Baton Rouge police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. told a local state lawmaker that the officers' cameras fell off during the scuffle seen in separate video footage of the shooting.

(Editor's note: This video contains graphic footage. View with discretion.)

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