Alton Sterling: Timeline of events since the father of five was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police

Alton Sterling: Timeline of events since the father of five was fatally shot by Baton Rouge police
Sandra Sterling, Alton Sterling's aunt, visits his memorial at the Triple S Food Mart July 7, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images
Sandra Sterling, Alton Sterling's aunt, visits his memorial at the Triple S Food Mart July 7, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Wednesday marks one year since the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man and father of five, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

He was selling CDs outside a convenience store when police officers who were responding to a call about a man with a gun arrived. He was shot several times at close range by Baton Rouge officers Howie Lake II and Blane Salamoni.

Here’s a timeline of the events since Sterling was fatally shot on July 5, 2016.

July 5, 2016: Sterling was fatally shot

Family attorney Justin Bamberg, left, comforts Na'Quincy, 10, son of Alton Sterling, after Alton's burial.
Family attorney Justin Bamberg, left, comforts Na'Quincy, 10, son of Alton Sterling, after Alton's burial. Pool/Getty Images

While selling CDs in front of a Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Sterling was fatally shot by police. Numerous onlookers managed to capture the entire scene on video, some of which were picked up by both local and national news sources.


July 6, 2016: Officials released the names of the officers

Baton Rouge Chief of Police Carl Dabadie speaks during a press conference at the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Baton Rouge Chief of Police Carl Dabadie speaks during a press conference at the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Baton Rouge police officials released the names of officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake, who held down and shot Sterling. During this press briefing, the Department of Justice announced it would investigate the shooting.

July 7, 2016: Protests erupted across the nation; celebrities and more reacted

Demonstators march through New York City to call for justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as they rally in the middle of Times Square.
Demonstators march through New York City to call for justice for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as they rally in the middle of Times Square. Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

After the video of Sterling’s death went viral, protests erupted across the country and several black celebrities and influencers weighed in on the epidemic of police brutality. Drake wrote an open letter, comedian Larry Wilmore covered it in a segment on The Nightly Show, and Issa Rae started a GoFundMe for Sterling’s children, raising over $200,000 in nine hours.

July 10-11, 2016: Protests gained nationwide attention

In the week following Sterling’s death, protests across Baton Rouge led to dozens of arrests. The above image of Leshia Evans, a mother to a 5-year-old son, became an iconic image of protest that summer.

July 13, 2016: Sterling’s son, Cameron, spoke out

Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling, speaks to the media outside the the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Cameron Sterling, son of Alton Sterling, speaks to the media outside the the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Gerald Herbert/AP

Cameron Sterling, who was 15 at the time, spoke out during a press conference organized by the family’s attorney. “I feel that everyone, yes, you can protest,” he said. “But I want everyone to protest the right way. Protest in peace — not guns, not drugs, not alcohol, not violence. Everyone needs to protest the right way. With peace, no violence. None whatsoever.”

Aug. 23, 2016: Obama met with the family

Then President Barack Obama with Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards, during a visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July 2016.
Then President Barack Obama with Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards, during a visit to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in July 2016. Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Over a month after Sterling’s death, then-President Barack Obama met privately with members of the Sterling family. After seven years in office, this was the first time he met and consoled a black family whose loved one was fatally shot by police.

May 2, 2017: The DOJ decided not to charge the officers

Protester holds up a sign outside the Triple S Food Mart, where Alton Sterling was killed following DOJ decision not to charge officers.
Protester holds up a sign outside the Triple S Food Mart, where Alton Sterling was killed following DOJ decision not to charge officers. Gerald Herbert/AP

Ten months after the DOJ announced it would investigate Sterling’s death, it decided not to charge either of the officers involved in the shooting. Baton Rouge residents protested the decision outside of the police department headquarters, the Advocate reported.

June 27, 2017: Sterling’s children sued Baton Rouge

Alton Sterling's son Cameron Sterling walks to up to the U.S. Federal Courthouse on May 3 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Alton Sterling's son Cameron Sterling walks to up to the U.S. Federal Courthouse on May 3 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Sterling’s children are suing the city of Baton Rouge, the police department and the officer who fired the shot. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges that the fatal shooting was indicative of racist conduct and excessive force by Baton Rouge police.