back to top

13-Year-Old Boy With Fake Rifle Killed By Sheriff's Deputies In California

The deputies thought the teenagers's fake AK-47 was real and shot him multiple times.

Posted on

On Tuesday afternoon, two Sonoma County deputies spotted the boy carrying what they thought was a semiautomatic weapon, according to the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office. They pulled over and yelled at the teen to put his weapon down, according to reports.

A statement from the Sheriff's office described what happened next:

"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."

According to California authorities, the deputies fired multiple rounds and hit Lopez several times. They then handcuffed the unresponsive boy and called for an ambulance after administering first aid.

They found the fake rifle on the ground, as well as a plastic hand gun tucked in the boy's waistband.

Lopez was pronounced dead at the scene.


"He was a very popular student," said Linsey Gannon, the assistant principal at Lawrence Cook Middle School. "He was a handsome young man with many friends and a lovely family. He will be missed."

The last thing the teen's father, Rodrigo Cruz, told his son before he left for work was, "Behave yourself." The boy's mother, Sujey Annel Cruz Cazarez, said, "Why did they kill him? Why?"

Staff / Reuters

Sujey Cruz, 37, looks at a photograph of her dead son as she and the boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez, 37, sit outside Santa Rosa City Hall to silently protest the eighth-grader's fatal shooting on Oct. 23.

There was a vigil for Lopez held Wednesday in Santa Rosa.

100s March, rally and vigil for 13 yr old Andy Lopez, shot&killed by Deputy in Santa Rosa. @nbcbayarea at 11



100s March, rally and vigil for 13 yr old Andy Lopez, shot&killed by Deputy in Santa Rosa. @nbcbayarea at 11

/ Via

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!