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Baton Rouge Police Dept. officers, East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office personnel and others work the scene of a reported shooting fatality on 68th Ave., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. The shooting occurred in the early afternoon, and a bystander said they believed a person in or around the white Chevrolet Silverado truck, center, was the victim.

Authorities say a fatal shooting case involving two LSU football players could take months to clear as investigators must trace the gun's history and review autopsy photographs.

Baton Rouge Police Department investigators believe running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and reserve linebacker Jared Small were justified in shooting Kobe Johnson, 18, on Dec. 22. They say Edwards-Helaire and Small were selling an electronic item to Johnson and had met in person for the exchange on 68th Avenue when it turned into a robbery attempt. One of the players fatally shot Johnson inside a white truck.

Authorities have not released many details about the interaction, including who fired the fatal shot, what the electronic item was and how the three came to be sitting inside the vehicle together.

East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore said Saturday that BRPD is still handling the case, and that it would likely be at least a month before it officially moves to his office for review.

He said members of his staff were at the scene of the shooting after it happened, they’ve heard the interviews with witnesses and have been kept informed of developments.

“It’s really preliminary at this point but everything seems to be consistent with that (self-defense) determination,” he said in an interview. “But, we always wait to see if there’s any information to the contrary.”

Moore spoke earlier in the day to WNXX radio, ESPN 104.5, and said the gun used in the shooting was used legally.

Moore said because the gun was used within a vehicle, which is considered an extension of the home, the user doesn’t need additional qualifications like a concealed carry permit like they would possessing a gun in public, for example.

He said the gun was not reported as stolen but authorities have sent the weapon’s information to be traced to find out information like where it was manufactured, and if it showed up in any law enforcement records.

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Moore said the two players called 911 after the shooting and waited for police to arrive. They were cooperative when interviewed, and appeared distraught, upset and scared, he said.

“Once we receive all the information we owe it to the family of the young man who’s dead to answer their questions and show them what information and facts we have and what we relied on,” he said.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said in the past week that both Edwards-Helaire and Small would be eligible to play on New Year’s Day when the Tigers face off with UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. Several teammates also have offered their support to both young men during media availability this week.

"It's a legal matter that's been taken care of," Orgeron said minutes after the LSU team plane arrived at Phoenix, near the site of Tuesday's game. "Clyde and Jared are two of the best young men on our football team. We believe in Clyde and Jared and we support them totally."

Moore said the shooting will have ramifications for both men throughout their lives, and should serve as a reminder about safety while selling items online.

"It’s a tragic event, we have an 18-year-old dead and two young men of around the same age involved in a fatal shooting," he said. "These people are going to be scarred for the rest of their lives so hopefully it’ll be a learning experience about all that happened."

For the full interview with ESPN 104.5, click here. 


Follow Emma Kennedy on Twitter, @byemmakennedy.