A tragic situation in Santa Rosa, Calif. has unfolded after the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy at the hands of police Tuesday (Oct. 22) afternoon. Andy Lopez was approached by deputies on patrol in the Bay Area town who ordered him to drop a fake assault weapon rifle, and then fired several rounds at the boy during the encounter.
The Press Democrat reported on the shooting incident, speaking with Lopez’s parents after they returned home from identifying their son’s body. The details of the case are slowly emerging, but the Lopez family are questioning the tactics of the Sonoma County police force.
From the Press Democrat:
At 3 p.m., two sheriff’s deputies patrolling in the area of Moorland and West Robles avenues observed Lopez walking with what sheriff’s officials said appeared to be some type of rifle.
The deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered the boy to drop the rifle, Sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said in a news release.
At some point after the deputies told Lopez to drop the rifle, they fired several rounds from their handguns at the boy, who was hit multiple times, O’Leary said.
Lopez was pronounced dead on the scene after the deputies swarmed in to subdue the boy. Lopez’s father, Rodrigo Lopez, said he last saw his son alive Tuesday morning before he headed to school. “I told him what I tell him every day,” said the father in Spanish. “Behave yourself.”
Lopez’s mother, overcome with grief, wondered aloud, ““Why did they kill him? Why?”
Sonoma County officials have yet to make an official statement regarding the incident. The Lopez family says their son was carrying around a toy, but police say the rifle was a replica and they were not sure if it was capable of firing BB rounds or not. Police also say Lopez had a plastic fake handgun in his waistband.
This story is developing.
Photos: Conney Jay/PD