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Fatal shooting by deputy of boy with replica gun sparks outrage

October 24, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

Several hundred people chanting "We need justice" took to Santa Rosa's streets Wednesday night to protest the fatal shooting by a sheriff's deputy of a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a replica assault rifle.

The protesters marched down Corby and Moorland avenues to the site where Andy Lopez was shot and killed Tuesday, the Press Democrat reported.

“We don't know the reason why they killed him. They should know if a gun is real,” 18-year-old Katia Ontiveros told the paper.

It was at the intersection of Moorland and West Robles avenues at 3 p.m. Tuesday that Sonoma County sheriff's deputies spotted Lopez "with what appeared to be some type of rifle," according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office.

A deputy fired at Andy, killing him on the sidewalk at the edge of an empty lot, Santa Rosa police Lt. Paul Henry said during a news conference, according to the Press Democrat.

“The deputy's mind-set was that he was fearful that he was going to be shot,” Henry said.

Andy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas said in a statement Wednesday that Lopez's death "is a tragedy on many levels."

"As a father of two boys about this age, I can't begin to imagine the grief this family is going through," he said. "My hope is that we can work with the community to help prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future."

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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