A community in California wine country north of San Francisco remains in mourning today after sheriff’s deputies shot to death a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica assault rifle they believed was real.
The boy, identified by his father as Andy Lopez, was on his way to a friend’s house in Santa Rosa on Tuesday afternoon carrying the pellet gun designed to resemble an AK-47 automatic weapon. It had been left at his house earlier by another boy.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that deputies had shot and killed “an unidentified male” carrying a replica of an assault weapon.
Residents of Santa Rosa, a city of about 170,000 people, were shaken by the boy’s death. Many left candles, teddy bears and flowers at the edge of the overgrown field where the boy was shot.
Some questioned whether deputies acted appropriately when they decided to fire on such a young person.
News story here.