Boy With Toy Gun Shot by CA Deputies

MSN News:

A 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica of an assault rifle was shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies who believed the gun was real.

Toy gun death: This image, released by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, shows a replica gun that was being carried by a 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

This image, released by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department, shows a replica gun that was being carried by a 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Northern California sheriff’s deputies have shot and killed a 13-year-old boy after repeatedly telling him to drop what turned out to be a replica assault rifle, sheriff’s officials and family members said.

Two Sonoma County deputies on patrol saw the boy walking with what appeared to be a high-powered weapon Tuesday afternoon in Santa Rosa, sheriff’s Lt. Dennis O’Leary said.

The replica gun resembled an AK-47 with a black magazine cartridge and brown butt, according to a photograph released by the sheriff’s office. Deputies would only learn after the shooting that it was a replica, according to O’Leary. It was not clear whether it could fire projectiles such as pellets or BBs.

Rodrigo Lopez identified the boy as his son, Andy, to a newspaper and said the young teen was carrying a toy gun that belonged to a friend.

After spotting the boy, the deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered him to drop the gun, O’Leary said in a news release. It wasn’t clear whether he pointed the replica assault rifle at the deputies or made any type of threatening gesture. The sheriff’s office referred calls to the Santa Rosa Police Department, which scheduled a 3 p.m. news conference to address the shooting.

O’Leary said the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns immediately after issuing the orders to drop the rifle.

A neighbor in the area, Brian Zastrow, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat he heard seven shots.

“First, I heard a single siren and within seconds I heard seven shots go off, sounded like a nail gun, is what I thought it was,” he said.

The boy fell to the ground on top of the rifle, according to O’Leary. He said the deputies ordered him to move away before approaching him and putting him in handcuffs.

They began administering first aid and called for paramedics, who pronounced him dead at the scene. Deputies also found a plastic handgun in the boy’s waistband, O’Leary said. The deputies, who have not been identified, have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard after a shooting, O’Leary said.

Community members left candles, teddy bears and flowers at the edge of the field where the teen was shot and questioned deputies’ decision to open fire.

“I’m sure you can tell he’s a 13-year-old boy,” Abrey Martin told KGO-TV. “He’s not some maniac.”

In a statement, Sheriff Steve Freitas said the shooting was a “tragedy” and he would do everything he could to ensure the investigation was thorough and transparent.

“As a father of two boys about this age, I can’t begin to imagine the grief this family is going through,” he said.

Rodrigo Lopez told the Press Democrat he last saw his son Tuesday morning.

“I told him what I tell him every day,” he said in Spanish. “Behave yourself.”

The family was back at their mobile home Tuesday night after identifying the boy’s body, the Press Democrat reported.

The newspaper quoted the boy’s mother, Sujey Annel Cruz Cazarez, as saying, “”Why did they kill him? Why?”

Andy Lopez had recently attended Lawrence Cook Middle School, where assistant principal Linsey Gannon said he played trumpet in the band.

“Andy was a very loved student, a very popular, very handsome young man, very smart and capable,'” she said Wednesday. “Our community has been rocked by his loss.”


Seven shots??? Although the MSN story is not clear about whether the seven shots were fired directly at the boy, Reuters had this to say in their report of the story:

“The two deputies repeatedly ordered the subject to drop the rifle and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times,” the department said. “The subject fell to the ground and landed on top of the rifle he was carrying.”

When toys look so much like the real thing and you take into account all the craziness going on in this country, you have to cut these cops some slack. It’s naturally going to cause some alarm when they see this type of situation.

After the incident earlier this week regarding the 13-year-old shooter in Sparks, NV, it’s understandable that police everywhere are probably edgy, but seven shots??

They put seven shots into this kid and then tried to administer first aid? That might be the practical thing to do after a single shot, but after seven shots, it’s absolutely pointless.

I’m not trying to paint this kid as a saint, because we all know there are too many thugs-in-the-making out there, but it seems to me the logical thing to do is fire ONE shot to bring him down, investigate the situation and make a determination – not appoint yourself as the designated firing squad.

Many lives, youth and adult, just changed forever.


(h/t to Hardnox)

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24 Responses to Boy With Toy Gun Shot by CA Deputies

  1. Hardnox says:

    No where is it reported that the kid raised the toy gun or pointed it at the officers.

  2. Buck says:

    “Nox made the point. Like to see the videocam…

  3. vonmesser says:

    BANG BANG BANG (drop your gun) BANG BANG BANG BANG. Sounds fair to me. What more can you ask from Kalifornicators who want to ban everything but queers and illegals.

  4. BrianR says:

    I’m wondering why they approached him in the first place. Even if that was a real rifle, there’s no law, even here in Commiefornia, that prevents one from walking around with an unconcealed rifle. It’s called “open carry”.

    • Kathy says:

      I was hoping you’d weigh in – I was curious about the law, had it been a real gun. Even with the open carry law in effect, cops are harassing people in many states for asserting their rights. One call from an ‘alarmed citizen’ can get a guy in trouble, although he did nothing wrong.

      • BrianR says:

        Yes, exactly. It sounds to me like these cops screwed the pooch big time, but I don’t want to make a hasty judgment without more facts.

        It’ll be interesting to hear more about this event, which is getting pretty big news play out here in LeftyLand. Seven shots, rapid fire. How many hits, I wonder? Was it “spray and pray”?

        I wonder if their car had a videocam, and if so what it shows.

        Accidental deaths can occur and still be within policy.

  5. Buck says:

    For some reason open carrying of a firearm seems to be tatamount to waving a red flag in a bull’s face.
    Some cops subscribe to the idea THEY and THEY ALONE should be able to keep and bear arms.
    Even when response times are abysmal…

    • Kathy says:

      Exactly, Buck, maybe they need a reminder, such as more people carrying, since it is their right to do. That might be a bad idea though, if this case is any example of their reaction.

  6. Kathy says:

    Earlier today, I read Breitbart’s edition of this story and it makes it clearer that the actions of the cops were first an overreaction then a cover up.
    First the cops shot the kid seven times,
    then they handcuffed him,
    then they rendered first aid
    and called the paramedics.

    There’s something horribly wrong with this picture.

  7. There are no winners here – only losers, carrying grief to the grave of all.

  8. Mrs AL says:

    Today cops are all called “heroes” and given that, there are those who take that too far and believe they can do no wrong. Cover up ensues. Not a good situation, Kathy.

    BTW, sent email notification to my husband person. His reaction will tell me a lot about the story.

    • Kathy says:

      There are still a lot of good guys out there, but unfortunately, incidents like this overshadow them sometimes. I’ll be curious to hear what your husband person thinks of this.

      • Mrs AL says:

        I would imagine the great majority are good guys, Then there are the others …

        I will let you know what, if anything, he thinks. Sometimes he won’t make any comment. Still not sure why. hehehe

  9. Buck says:

    “Today cops are all called “heroes”
    That’s because every tv show is about either cops, doctors or lawyers and they are always painted with an heroic brush.
    We all know a large percent of cops don’t fall in that category.
    Lots of cops want the public disarmed believing it makes their jobs easier and safer and to hell with the citizen’s safety when they are not around or have a 40 minute respond time.

    • Kathy says:

      True, Buck, and lots of people out there think that’s how it is in real life, even though we see more and more of these kinds of cop stories every day.

  10. Clyde says:

    When are these asshats headed to jail?

  11. garnet92 says:

    This was a very disturbing situation. As a gun nut and a NRA member, I do normally want to cut some slack for our police – they do have a difficult job in dealing primarily with the dregs of society. That being said, unless the kid pointed the “gun” directly at them, I don’t think that they should have fired at all. They were no doubt aiming at him and could get off their shots if threatened before he could likely hit one of them so I’m looking for charges to be brought against them. And seven rounds? I’m not a LEO, but my firearm training teaches to shoot to STOP the perp, not to KILL him.

  12. Kathy says:

    Agreed, Garnet – stop, not kill. I tried to cut them slack too because toys can look so real these days, but after reading the timeline of events, it’s not looking good for these guys.