Ten Seconds

Ten seconds.

That’s the amount time that transpired between the time Sonoma County deputies reported a call of a suspicious person, then a call of shots fired.

Deputies claimed that they saw 13-year-old Andy Lopez walking with an AK-47, told him to drop the weapon, and one of them opened fire when he said Lopez turned and began to raise the muzzle in their their direction.


This was a neat trick, as the toy gun had no muzzle, front sight post, or barrel in front of the gas port; it had all broken off during play at some point in the past.

Only one deputy fired during the shooting, and he put seven of eight shots fired into Lopez’s body. This is incredible combat accuracy, as law enforcement officers tend to connect less than a third of the time in gun fights. It also strongly suggests that physiologically, he did not feel threatened.  If that wasn’t bad enough, a new witness has come forward to claim the senior deputy continued to pour fire into Lopez even after he was down.

As a side note, is interesting that the rookie deputy saw no need to shoot, and didn’t even succumb to sympathetic firing, which is very common in this sort of incident, especially after a senior officer begins to fire.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case now. Between the radio timeline, the witness, and the physical evidence, it is starting to look like the senior officer made a series of bad split-second decisions. Whether that amounts to a crime is best left to investigators to determine.