Protesters rally after boy killed by Calif. deputy
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — More than 1,000 people marched Tuesday to protest the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by a Northern California sheriff’s deputy in an encounter that sparked community outrage and an FBI investigation.
Officers stood on rooftops and others wearing helmets stood guard at barricades that kept the protesters away from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Rosa.
The protesters, including middle- and high-school-age students and members of the Occupy Oakland movement, assembled in downtown Santa Rosa before marching through streets with signs and hooded sweatshirts bearing photos of the boy.
“Andy Lopez did not have to die,” they chanted during the nearly three-hour, peaceful demonstration. No arrests were made.
Lopez was shot and killed Oct. 22 by Sonoma County Deputy Erick Gelhaus, a firearms instructor who authorities said mistook a pellet gun carried by Lopez for an assault rifle.
Investigators say the hoodie-wearing teen didn’t comply with commands to drop the gun and was turning toward deputies while raising the barrel when he was shot multiple times.
The incident remained under investigation by the FBI, Sonoma County prosecutors and Santa Rosa police.