Mother of Alton Sterling's son: I don't believe Sterling was armed when Baton Rouge police fatally shot him _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Trivia Weatherspoon takes a photo of the mural depicting Alton Sterling following a prayer service and vigil at the Triple S Food Mart at the intersection of N. Foster and Fairfields, Wednesday, July 7, 2016, where Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge Police in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The mother of Alton Sterling's son says she didn't know Sterling to carry a gun and doesn't believe he had one with him the night he was shot to death.

Quinyetta McMillon told The Associated Press on Friday: "I do not believe in my heart that there was a gun."

Sterling was fatally shot Tuesday during a struggle with two police officers outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge. Police say he was armed and an eyewitness said police pulled a gun out of his pocket. McMillon says she believes police said that "to cover up something."

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McMillon described Sterling as a good father to their son Cameron, calling them the "Doublemint twins" because they liked to eat snacks together. She said Cameron Sterling has been devastated by the loss of his father.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. referred to Sterling as "armed" at a press conference Wednesday morning, during which officials announced that federal investigators would be looking into Sterling's death outside the Triple S Food Mart. The shop owner who witnessed the shooting and recorded it on video, Abdullah Muflahi, told The Advocate he saw police remove a handgun from Sterling's pocket but said Sterling didn't pull out the weapon or reach for it during the scuffle.

Muflahi and Sharida Sterling, a cousin who grew up with him, both said Alton Sterling — who, because of prior criminal convictions, was legally prohibited from possessing a weapon — had acquired the gun in recent weeks for protection after a slew of armed robberies in the neighborhood around the store.