Deputy's fatal shooting of man was accidental

Suspect at large in a Panama City shooting. (Pixabay)
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CLINTON, La. (AP) - Law enforcement officials say a sheriff's deputy accidentally shot and killed a man who was being chased on suspicion of trying to steal chicken and eggs from a convenience store.

News outlets report that East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis announced Friday that evidence indicates the shooting was accidental.

Thirty-one year-old Christopher Whitfield was killed in the Monday shooting.

Travis said the deputy fired a warning shot into the ground while chasing Whitfield. Travis said the deputy's weapon discharged again when Whitfield struck it as the two men struggled.

There have been heated protests outside the courthouse over the shooting death.

Deputy Glenn Sims Sr. is on leave pending the investigation. Local prosecutors will determine whether Sims will face criminal charges.

Travis said that Sims has a past criminal record.