Abdullah Muflahi, the owner of the Triple S Food Mart outside of which Alton Sterling was shot and killed, will meet with the FBI after footage he captured of Sterling's death revealed that Sterling was not, in fact, holding the gun that was later found on his person.
Muflahi told MSNBC News, "I believe he was murdered," and said that he was not aware of any problems Sterling was allegedly causing to warrant police intervention. According to the police, a 911 caller told dispatch that Sterling was "brandishing" a gun in the store parking lot. “Didn’t hear about it. Didn’t know about it. I didn’t hear nothing. Nobody complained. He didn’t get into an argument with nobody. Nobody said anything,” said Abdullah Muflahi.
“They started slamming [Sterling] on top of a car. Backed up. Started tasering him. Another cop tackled him onto another vehicle. And that’s when they tackled him to the ground and both cops got on top of him,” Muflahi told BuzzFeed News.
Muflahi also said that he has turned the footage he captured with his cellphone over to the FBI. His attorney Joel Porter said that he and his client are set to speak with federal investigators on Thursday.
Regarding other footage, Muflahi said the police took his shop's surveillance footage, saying they had a warrant but never presenting one. “They just took it. They confiscated it. I haven’t heard nothing about it,” Muflahi told said. “I think it shows everything. I think we could get a lot of answers from that.”
Muflahi has been incredibly supportive of members of the community who continue to mourn Sterling's death. He allowed artist Jo Hines to spray paint a mural of Sterling outside of the store.
Muflahi and Sterling had formed a friendship over the last six years and the store owner gave him permission to sell CDs and DVDs outside of his store to help provide for his family.
It is becoming clear that Muflahi will play an integral role in providing necessary information for the FBI to conduct a thorough investigation. He is also serving a role in helping the community express their sadness and heal.
(Photo: Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP)