Friday, April 18, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sheriff: Deputy who shot teen followed procedure

Deputy Kills Teen

In this photo taken Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013, activist Ramon Cairo, center, attempts to enter the city council chambers at City Hall in Santa Rosa, Calif., during a protest against the shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez. Sheriff's officials in Northern California say their preliminary review shows a deputy who shot Lopez did not violate department procedure governing the use of deadly force. The October shooting of Lopez in Santa Rosa by Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus has sparked numerous protests. Two people including Cairo were arrested Tuesday during demonstrations against the shooting. (AP Photo/The Press Democrat, Christopher Chung)

By
From page A6 | December 12, 2013 | 3 Comments

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — A preliminary review by a Northern California sheriff’s office shows a deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy did not violate department procedure governing the use of deadly force, sheriff’s officials said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reviewed the October shooting of Andy Lopez by Deputy Erick Gelhaus based on an initial briefing by Santa Rosa police, who are looking into whether criminal charges are warranted against Gelhaus, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.

The review by the sheriff’s department is ongoing, but so far there is no indication Gelhaus failed to follow procedures, Sonoma County Assistant Sheriff Lorenzo Duenas told the newspaper Tuesday.

“We’re not talking about guilt or innocence; we’re talking about policy,” Duenas said of the sheriff’s review. “Was deadly force used? Did he follow deadly force policy?”

Duenas said there was “nothing screaming at us that he violated any policy.”

Gelhaus shot Andy Lopez seven times Oct. 22 as the teen walked in a Santa Rosa neighborhood with a BB gun. Gelhaus told investigators he believed the BB gun was an assault rifle.

The shooting sparked numerous protests that were renewed after Gelhaus returned to work Monday. Sheriff’s officials have said he will be assigned to a desk job until prosecutors decide whether to file charges.

Dozens of protesters angry that Gelhaus was back on the job forced the Santa Rosa City Council to halt its meeting Tuesday, the Press Democrat reported.

One of them, Ramon Cairo, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer with a protest sign.

Another person, 24-year-old Jose Godoy of Santa Rosa, was arrested on suspicion of violating probation and obstructing a peace officer after he was stopped leaving a nighttime protest for Andy, the Press Democrat reported.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • CD BrooksDecember 12, 2013 - 7:22 am

    I repeat: Imagine the outrage had he not shot the kid and the kid killed him or someone else. Familiar story, varying outcomes. If you're going to walk around with a weapon that appears real, be prepared to answer for that. This is not a game, children are dying. Officers forced into such action can lose their career and standing for what? There will be more of the same, education and respect is key…

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • P. J.December 12, 2013 - 8:05 am

    Wasn't it just a few days before Andy Lopez was killed that a boy about his age shot up a school? Actually, my feeling is that the parents of Andy Lopez should be charged with child endangerment for allowing their son to possess, and display in public, a weapon that looks identical to an assault weapon. Make no bones about it....a B.B. gun IS a weapon. It can kill even a human if they are hit in the right spot. Second, the manufacturer of this "look alike" could also be charged. WHY? are there always those who want to blame an officer who is protecting the public. Some people will use any excuse to incite a riot...gives them a "name and reputation".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Kene WinstonDecember 12, 2013 - 8:34 pm

    This makes me unhappy, this kid could have had a life ahead of him. Reminds me of my relative who passed away....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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