13-year-old boy carrying pellet gun shot dead by police in California
Police in Santa Rosa say they thought the replica firearm the teenager was carrying as he walked to a friend's house was real
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 24 October 2013
Hundreds of people marched through the northern Californian town of Santa Rosa on Wednesday night to demand justice for the death of a 13-year-old boy shot by police while carrying a pellet gun to his friend’s house.
Andy Lopez was killed the day after a 12-year-old boy shot dead a maths teacher and himself at a school in the neighbouring state of Nevada. Two Santa Rosa sheriff’s deputies said they opened fire after repeatedly asking Andy to drop the replica assault rifle, which they believed to be real. The teenager was declared dead at the scene on Tuesday.
According to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, the deputies were driving by when they spotted the teenager walking “with what appeared to be some type of rifle”. Lopez had his back to the officers, who did not realise he was a boy. They called for backup and, they said, ordered him twice to drop the gun. The teenager was around 20-30ft away when he turned towards them. “He was holding the weapon in his left hand,” said Lt Paul Henry of Santa Rosa Police. “He began to turn toward his right in the direction of the deputy, and he moved the gun toward the deputy, and the deputy’s mindset was that he was fearful he would be shot.”
One eyewitness recounted the incident to the news station KGO-TV. “He pulled over to the kid walking and he just opened the door and shot him, three shots,” Ismael Mondragon said.
A still of the replica firearm that police say Andy was carrying when he was shot dead
The boy’s father, Rodrigo Lopez, told reporters his son had borrowed the replica AK-47 from a friend, and was walking to the other boy’s home to return it. “It’s not right what they did to my son,” Mr Lopez said.
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...
Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - This is a very unusual law c...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...