A sheriff’s deputy who shot dead a 13-year-old Californian boy after mistaking his fake AK-47 for a real gun opened fire before his partner was even able to get out of the patrol car, it has emerged.
Andy Lopez was shot seven times in a Santa Rosa parking lot by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus after police received reports of a suspicious person.
Accounts of just how quickly the shooting took place have been bolstered by investigators confirming that a second officer, a trainee, stayed at the wheel of the police car while Gelhaus approached the boy.
We now know that Deputy Gelhaus fired eight shots and missed only once, which is an abnormally high hit percentage for someone fearing for his life. He did it within 10 seconds (perhaps much faster) after rolling up on 13 Year old Andy Lopez, who was walking to a friends house to return an airsoft toy that had the barrel broken off in front of the gas port.
One witness says Gelhuas uttered one command at Lopez immediately before firing, and another witness says he continued firing once Lopez was on the ground.
The FBI is investigating the shooting.