Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy Tuesday as he was walking down the street carrying a toy rifle in Santa Rosa, Calif.
The incident began at 3 p.m. when officers saw Andy Lopez walking home from school—wearing a blue hoodie, of course—holding what they thought was a real rifle. The deputies called for backup and ordered him to drop the gun. According to witnesses, Lopez then turned around to face the officers and was shot "at least once."
According to Lt. Paul Henry, "One of the deputies described that as the subject was turning toward him the barrel of the assault rifle was rising up and turning in his direction." The deputy, fearing "for his safety, the safety of his partner, and the safety of the community members in the area" began to shoot. Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene after deputies handcuffed him and determined he was unresponsive.
Authorities also report that Lopez was found with a plastic handgun in his waistband.
Lopez was described by teachers as “kind, intelligent, and capable” and on Wednesday, family friend Alma Galvan asked the San Francisco Chronicle, "Why did they have to kill him?" Another family friend, Ezau Ruiz, told KTVU that the community was tired of police violence: "We're not gonna let this one slide. Enough is enough."
[Screenshot via KTVU]