An East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's deputy serving papers Wednesday afternoon at an apartment building on North Ardenwood Drive shot and killed a man during a struggle, Sheriff Sid Gautreaux III said.

The incident began around 4 p.m. when the man approached the deputy, Gautreaux said.

“When the subject approached him there, there was a struggle that ensued,” Gautreaux said. “A shot was fired. That subject was hit.”

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Gautreaux said the man, who had blood on him when he first approached the deputy, was taken to a hospital after the shooting. The man's family said that he died around 10:30 p.m. in a hospital and identified him as Shermichael Ezeff.

Gautreaux declined to comment further on what happened during the struggle or what led the man to approach the deputy. The deputy had been serving a temporary restraining order to someone else at the Renaissance Gateway Apartments at 650 N. Ardenwood Drive before the altercation, Gautreaux said.

Preliminary reports from the sheriff’s office indicated the man who was shot had been a suspect in a stabbing, but Gautreaux later clarified that he was not sure if there was, in fact, a stabbing. When asked why that narrative was initially reported, he said he didn’t know other than the “confusion of everything.”

“When these things happen, things start floating around, this and that and the other,” Gautreaux said. “We never know until we get on the scene and actually start … the investigation.”

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Gautreaux made his remarks at an impromptu press conference at the apartment complex. He was flanked by Louisiana State Police Col. Kevin Reeves, Louisiana State Police spokesman Senior Trooper Bryan Lee and Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul. East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III and other law enforcement leaders were also on the scene.

Gautreaux said because a deputy was involved in the shooting, he asked State Police to investigate. The deputy has been placed on administrative leave, the sheriff said. The name of that deputy has not yet been released.

Oralee Rivers, who identified herself as an aunt of the man who was shot, said her nephew approached the deputy to try to get help. She said a family friend told her that her nephew had been shot, so she came to the apartment to find out what happened.

Rivers said her nephew lives with his sister in an apartment unit very close to where investigators set up the crime scene tape Wednesday. They blocked off part of the area behind a fence that ran along North Ardenwood Drive. At least 50 numbered evidence markers were placed in the grass within the area bounded by the yellow police tape.

Follow Emma Discher on Twitter, @EmmaDischer.