Thursday, October 24, 2013

Great Moments in Gun Control

Detectives photograph body of 13 year old Andy Lopez
Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon during an encounter in a southwest Santa Rosa neighborhood.

The boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez, identified the teen as Andy Lopez and said he had been carrying a toy gun that belonged to a friend.

That'll teach him not to play around with guns...  Oh wait.
It was unclear Tuesday whether the rifle, which sheriff's officials characterized as a replica, was capable of firing BBs or other projectiles.
They spend a fair amount of verbiage in the article talking about how Airsoft makes realistic looking fake guns that could maybe kind of confuse the officers into thinking it was a real gun, but even those have features (red tips) to make them readily distinguishable.  Did this gun have such features?  The picture they show seems to go to some lengths to hide the muzzle of the gun in straw.
At 3 p.m., two sheriff's deputies patrolling in the area of Moorland and West Robles avenues observed Lopez walking with what sheriff's officials said appeared to be some type of rifle.

The deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered the boy to drop the rifle, Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said in a news release.

At some point after the deputies told Lopez to drop the rifle, they fired several rounds from their handguns at the boy, who was hit multiple times, O'Leary said.

After telling Lopez to move away from the rifle, deputies approached the unresponsive teen as he lay on the ground and handcuffed him before administering first aid and calling for medical assistance, O'Leary said.

Lopez was later pronounced dead at the scene. Neither deputy was injured, said Sheriff's Lt. Steve Brown. Sheriff's officials did not release the names of the deputies Tuesday, but said both had been placed on administrative leave.
While it's hard to know just what happened, because police will definitely lie in a case where it helps them to do so, it's hard to imagine a teenager threatening armed deputies with a fake gun.  These officers should be fired unless they can show affirmatively that they had a good reason to open fire, and I can't imagine what that would be.  Having a few fired for being too quick on the trigger could encourage the rest to show a little common sense.
The shooting took place just as neighborhood residents were on their way home from work and school. Others were home when they heard gunfire.

“First I heard a single siren and within seconds I heard seven shots go off, sounded like a nail gun, is what I thought it was,” said Brian Zastrow, a resident on Horizon Way. “After that I heard multiple sirens.”
 Seconds, huh.  Took a lot of time for this kid to answer, I guess...

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