Cop Who Killed 13-Year-Old Boy Holding Toy Gun Won't Face Charges

Last year, a California sheriff's deputy shot 13-year-old Andy Lopez seven times, killing him, because he believed the pellet gun in the boy's hands was an assault rifle. Yesterday, the Sonoma County district attorney ruled the killer would face no charges.

District Attorney Jill Ravitch said that Lopez's death was "absolutely a tragedy," but "not a criminal act," arguing that deputy Erick Gelhaus "honestly and reasonably believed" the BB gun-toting middle-schooler "was an imminent threat of death to himself or others."

Protesters were unhappy with the decision. From KTVU:

"He was a kid, he was shot because he was kid carrying a toy gun where kids play. That is an injustice that cannot be permitted," says Jonathan Melrod of Justice for Andy Lopez

"This is like killing him again," said Nicole Guerra, an organizer with Andy's Youth.

According to police, the orange tip that's used to distinguish fake guns from real ones had been removed from Lopez's toy. It's also being reported, as if it matters one lick, that Lopez likely smoked weed about an hour before his death.

Teachers described the deceased as "kind, intelligent, and capable."

[Image via AP]