Update: Press release. California Sheriff's Deputies Shoot, Kill 13-Year-OldSubmitted by Pitjustice on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 16:58
(AP) Calif. sheriff's deputies shoot, kill 13-year-old
SANTA ROSA, Calif.
Northern California sheriff's deputies have shot and killed a 13-year-old boy after repeatedly telling him to drop what turned out to be a replica assault rifle, sheriff's officials and family members said.
Two Sonoma County deputies on patrol saw the boy walking with what appeared to be a high-powered weapon Tuesday afternoon in Santa Rosa, sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said.
The replica gun resembled an AK-47 with a black magazine cartridge and brown butt, according to a photograph released by the sheriff's office. Deputies would only learn after the shooting that it wasn't an actual firearm, according to O'Leary.
From SRPD web site:
"Deputy Involved Shooting Investigation
The Santa Rosa Police Department, in conjunction with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office and Petaluma Police Department, is investigating yesterday’s fatal shooting involving the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation is ongoing and a detailed press release will follow later today.
Lt. Paul Henry of the Santa Rosa Police Department will be handling all media inquiries. Lt. Henry can be reached at (707) 543-3668."
Wednesday October 23rd, 2013 :: 04:30 p.m. PDT
Deputy involved shooting press update
TO: News Media
FROM: Lieutenant Paul J. Henry
SUBJECT: Officer Involved Shooting Investigation
On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at approximately 3:14 p.m., two deputies from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office were involved in a fatal incident in which the deputies encountered what appeared to be an armed male in the area of Moorland Avenue and West Robles Avenue in Santa Rosa, California. The male was subsequently shot by one of the deputies and succumbed to his wounds at the scene. Pursuant to the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association Employee Involved Fatal Incident Protocol, the Santa Rosa Police Department has assumed the primary investigative responsibilities into this event. The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office and Petaluma Police Department are assisting in the investigation.
The investigation is on-going. After interviewing the involved deputies, the witnesses identified to this point, and examining the crime scene, the following information can be released.
The deputies were riding together in the same patrol car. They were driving a marked Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle and they were dressed in their standard patrol uniforms. While driving in the area of Moorland Avenue and West Robles Avenue they observed a subject walking northbound on the west side of Moorland Avenue just north of the intersection with West Robles Avenue. The subject was wearing a blue “hoodie” style sweatshirt and shorts.
One of the deputies immediately recognized that the subject was carrying what appeared to be an assault style rifle, similar to an AK-47 assault rifle. The weapon was in the subject’s left hand and his hand was at his left side. The deputies immediately called for emergency assistance from other deputies in the area and they broadcast their location. The deputies continued northbound through the intersection and pulled into the southbound lane and stopped their vehicle. One of the witnesses described that he saw the patrol car’s overhead rotating lights come on and he heard a “chirp” of the vehicle’s siren.
Both deputies exited their vehicle, but maintained cover behind their open passenger door. One of the deputies shouted at the subject to, “put the gun down.” A witness in the area reported that he heard the deputy shout two times to “put the gun down.” Initially, the subject’s back was toward the deputies. When the deputy shouted at the subject, the subject began to turn toward the deputies. 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. He believed the subject was going to shoot at him or his partner. The deputy described that he is aware an assault weapon of this type is capable of firing a bullet that can penetrate his body armor, the metal exterior of his car, and the walls of the residential houses behind him. The deputy then fired several rounds from his service weapon at the subject, striking him at least one time. The subject immediately fell to the ground.
The deputies approached the subject, handcuffed him, and immediately began life-saving measures. They called for an emergency medical response and both Fire and EMS were on scene within minutes.
Andy Lopez Cruz, age 13, died at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, October 24, 2013.
Recovered at the scene were a replica AK-47 assault style rifle, and a replica of a handgun. The rifle was located on the ground next to the subject. The handgun was located concealed in the waistband of the subject. The rifle had a brown stock and fore grip, and a dark colored plastic body. It did not have the traditionally orange tip of a replica firearm. The handgun was clear plastic and did have an orange tip at the end of the barrel.
The Santa Rosa Police Department, in conjunction with the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office and Petaluma Police Department continue to investigate this incident. Anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact the Santa Rosa Police Department at (707) 543-3590.
Any further press inquiries may be directed to Lieutenant Paul Henry at (707) 543-3668.
Santa Rosa Police Department
965 Sonoma Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404