Deputy kills 13-year-old carrying fake rifle

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LOS ANGELES — A sheriff’s deputy mistakenly thought he saw a teen carrying an assault rifle on a California street this week and shot him dead, authorities said.

It turned out the 13-year-old boy was carrying two fake guns, a replica AK-47 and a fake hand gun, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office said.

The Tuesday shooting is being investigated, the sheriff’s office said.

School officials in the northern California city of Santa Rosa identified the teen as Andy Lopez Cruz.

Rifle“The Santa Rosa City School District family is deeply saddened by the loss of Andy Lopez Cruz,” a school system statement said. “This is a tragic event for family, schools and the community. His administrators and teachers will remember him as kind, intelligent and capable.”

Two Sonoma County deputies spotted the boy holding what appeared to be an assault rifle Tuesday afternoon, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office said.

They pulled over “but maintained cover behind their open passenger door,” the press release said.

They yelled at the teen to put the weapon down. He had his back to them and began turning around towards the officers, the statement said.

“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 feared for his safety, the safety of his partner, and the safety of the community members in the area,” the statement said.

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  • Ted

    This was stupid. Cops are so paranoid, it’s shoot first ask questions later. I suspect a huge lawsuit, and well deserved. So sad. Once again shame on you LAPD……….

  • esco

    Anyone carrying a gun down the street in plain sight should be addressed. It's the cop's job to get involved. Many toy guns have had the orange tip removed by their owners and they assume we all know it's a toy. How are we or the cops supposed to know that?

  • anonymous

    Since I don’t live in California I don’t know their laws but why could they not have gone up to him(his back was turned to them correct? Then took him down without having to shoot. The police very by with doing whatever they want but very seldom pay the consequences of their actions and they shoot first and try ask questions after the person is not able to answer it is Bullcrap how they get by with doing anyone and anybody

    • Alias

      If you've seem police simulators you'd notice they're trained to shoot the people holding guns. It's their training. They're not trained to get shot.