FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

The Law Officer's Pocket Manual - Bloomberg BNA
This handy 4" x 6" spiral-bound manual offers examples showing how rules are...

Top News

Video: No Charges for Deputy in Shooting of Teen with Fake Gun

July 08, 2014  | 

VIDEO: Demonstrators Decry Decision to Not Charge Deputy in Teen's Shooting

No criminal charges will be filed against a Sonoma County, Calif., sheriff's deputy who shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez last year as the boy walked down the street carrying an airsoft BB gun that resembled an AK-47 rifle, District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced Monday.

Calling the Oct. 22 shooting and community upheaval that has followed a "painful, painful chapter in the history of Sonoma County," Ravitch said her office found that Deputy Erick Gelhaus acted within the law when he shot Lopez, reports the Press Democrat.

"While this was absolutely a tragedy, it was not a criminal act," Ravitch said.

In announcing her decision, Ravitch released a 52-page summary of her findings that includes several new details about the shooting, including that Lopez was likely high on marijuana at the time he was killed.

The decision once again fueled anger and frustration among Lopez supporters and activists, with many vowing to take to the streets in protest just as they did in the weeks that followed the shooting.

Comments (17)

Displaying 1 - 17 of 17

westcoastleo @ 7/8/2014 3:07 PM

"The decision once again fueled anger and frustration among Lopez supporters and activists, with many vowing to take to the streets in protest just as they did in the weeks that followed the shooting." ???

Lopez supporters are idiots. Had the kid had a real AK, firing it in the street or a local school, the same idiots would want more gun laws, more better police responce, etc.. Where were the parents? Why did they not supervise their lovely kid? For all you coppers and sheriff's in that county, you autta walk off the job for a few days or a week and let them Lopez supporters really feel like what it is with out LEO's...

sherry @ 7/8/2014 4:19 PM

Westcoastleo, the problem is that this has happened too many times and the Officer seems to always get off with no charges. Now anytime an Officer gets shot it can never go down as an accident. Officers shoot people's dogs and it is treated as nothing but when a police dog is shot it is charged as if it were a person. Things are out of line and people are tired of it. Understand?

Retired NY Boss @ 7/8/2014 4:59 PM

Sherry, try deciding if a gun is real or not in the nano second you have. Work a few tours in our boots and then get back to us.

Lenny @ 7/8/2014 5:13 PM

Well said Sherry, prepare for an onslaught of vitriol from most on this sight.
Most on this sight only see things as someone trying to kill them at every turn, and that everything they ever do, every time is perfect.
I understand that CHP is going to try and say that Marlene Pinnock was going for his vest?? and possibly his gun. Laughable but they will try. Nice optics as well sending out Assistant Chief Chris O'Quinn (UNCLE TOM). Would have been better if he had actually said Yez bozz.


"Had the kid had a real AK, firing it in the street or a local school"
Sweetheart, he didn't actually have a gun that could have harmed anyone.
I could read the story to you and for you, but I can't comprehend it for you.

Chuck @ 7/8/2014 6:18 PM

Why are you such an idiot lenny ? Walk one day in our shoes lenny. I doubt you would make it to the end of your shift. Take your head out of your A**

WyomingCop @ 7/8/2014 6:47 PM

A officer has a duty to go home to the family after the shift and not recklessly hesitate to shoot when threatened. It's all about split second decisions made while working a dangerous job.

Retired beat boss @ 7/8/2014 7:38 PM

Sherry, you haven't been in any situation that required you to decide if a gun is real or a toy. I've taken booked toy guns that appeared real and real guns that looked like toys. You can not judge anyone who had to face down anyone who points a gun at them unless you experienced it yourself.

Lenny go back to your video games and graphic novels and gnaw on your pizza and sip your Mountain Dew. The real world is too dangerous for you.

Dan @ 7/8/2014 8:11 PM

Henry. If you think you can do a better job, please apply. If you think you can make better split second decisions then apply and fill the ranks with better quality people. But you won't, will you?

Big E @ 7/9/2014 12:44 AM

Henry ... stop with all your nonsense ... you are a typical "red diaper doper baby" that hates this country ... go back to your freaking room and smoke some more of your medical marijuana you phoney hypocrite

Renee @ 7/9/2014 3:59 AM

I'm on the fence about some activities with thing I am certain of is the the fact that there are indeed a lot of good officers out there, and I know some personally who drink on the job, go into other jurisdictions to piss off those officers because they don't respect them. They break the law because they know they get brotherhood consideration, then brag about it. These guys are "friends/acquaintances of my husband and I. I am also certain there are indeed some bad cops. I won't lump every cop together, nor every situation where someone is killed. I don't totally understand using the "split second decision" reasoning for every kill. When it's a good kill great! When it's corruption, bad deal all around. I pray for truly good cops, and I never feel sorry for the ones who abuse power, just because they can.

Pup @ 7/9/2014 7:54 AM

I see Lenny came out from his hole again. Just enough to peek out and say something stupid as always. Whoops, there he goes again. Back into his hole until the next article.

Pup @ 7/9/2014 8:10 AM

Renee & Sherry < The term "Split second decision" is a term used as it takes a second for the mind to see the threat, process it and react to it. Please refer to Force for addition info. If you recall the press stated the boy had turned and pointed the rifle towards the officer. Knowing how LE reacts, why would the boy do such a thing? Do you feel the same about our troops in Afgan, Iraq to the decisions they make, especially with a woman or young kid armed? It's not an easy job. ??. You flinch when a hand comes at your face, right? It's a reaction to protect yourself. I hope you get my point. Be safe!!

Capt. Crunch @ 7/9/2014 10:21 AM

Lenny, (AKA Len-nerd) & Sherry, you have to put your self in the position the officers were in. We have a lot of these young people going into public places and killing people. The kid was probably dressed as a gangbanger which didn't help his situation. @ Len-nerd, a word of advice again "what goes around comes around" be careful what you wish for you may get it.

P.S. enjoy your tuna

Retired Beat Boss @ 7/9/2014 5:50 PM

Henry, since you imply you have first hand info on living in a S.S. Police State please explain it to me. Having had relatives who actually lived in such a state at the cost of their lives, I would like to know what experience you have and the extensive knowledge of such a place. We will compare notes, ok? Otherwise stop showing off your ignorance. You have no idea what it is like to live in a Nazi state. I find this kind of stupidity insulting and offensive.

don @ 7/9/2014 8:29 PM

Henry and Lenny why dont you two just call each other and get off this site? Just think how cool that would be? You guys could talk about how eveyone always picks on you.

Johnny Law @ 7/10/2014 7:39 AM

Remember LEOs Lenny and Sherry are not Police Officers and their comments should be taken as such. They talk and comment about things they know nothing about. Just ignore them as the dumba#%es that they are! Pretty simple, when told to "drop the gun" DON'T turn and point it at the officers or you will be shot. You would think even stupid people could follow simple directions. And what kind of parent allows their 13 y/o child to have an AK47 airsoft gun to walk around and scare people!

john @ 7/10/2014 3:27 PM

I read henry's message on this sight and went to the web site he suggested "" boy was he right, I challenge everyone to go there and see for yourself what a "good" job the cops are really doing on taxpayer expense

Join the Discussion

POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

K-9 Killed in OIS Near California Wildfire Evacuation Zone
A K-9 and a suspect were killed during an officer-involved shooting near the Camp Fire...
Echelon Materials Working on Ballistic Fabric to Defeat Rifle Rounds
The fabric called TiTek uses a defeat mechanism that is cutting-edge, according to...
Veteran Ohio Officer Dies of Natural Causes On Duty
The Madison Village (OH) Police Department issued a somber statement on Facebook, saying...
New York Officer Struck by Vehicle, Suspect in Custody
Elmira police say an officer attempted to pull over 35-year-old Billy McGinnis on...

Police Magazine