Skip to comments.Sheriff's deputy will NOT be charged for shooting dead 13-year-old boy ...
Posted on 07/08/2014 7:08:32 AM PDT by Uncle Chip
Prosecutors said Monday they will not file criminal charges against a Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun he mistook for an assault rifle....
Deputy Erick Gelhaus, 48, fired multiple rounds in response to what he believed was an imminent threat of death, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced at a news conference.
'While in the lawful performance of his duty, Deputy Gelhaus was faced with a highly unpredictable and rapidly evolving situation,' Ravitch said. 'He believed honestly and reasonably that he was faced with a do-or-die dilemma.'
'While this was an absolute tragedy it was not a criminal act,' Ravitch said.
Gelhaus shot Lopez on October 22 as the teen walked near his home with the pellet gun. The deputy told investigators he believed the gun was real and opened fire out of fear for his life.
At least one witness said he heard the deputy order Lopez to drop the pellet gun before shooting, Ravitch said.
Gelhaus fired eight times, striking the eighth-grader seven times with his department-issued 9 mm handgun.
The district attorney said Gelhaus had 18 rounds in his gun and stopped shooting when he felt the threat had ended....
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Maybe they mistook him for a dawg . . .
No charges? I’m shocked.
He should be hung.
What ever happened with the officer who shot the kid who had a TV remote in his hand? The kid answered the door and was immediately blown away. I think he was about the same age.
Cops are too jumpy these days.
Looks real enough and doesn’t have the orange muzzle tip that airsoft ones do. However, it’s not clear from the story what the imminent threat was. It didn’t mention he was pointing it at the officer or someone else.
Abuse of a corpse or bad headline?
Carrying a rifle or pellet gun should not be an immediate, shoot on sight, death warrant.
Abuse of a dead headline.
“Deputy Erick Gelhaus, 48, fired multiple rounds in response to what he believed was an imminent threat of death, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced at a news conference.”
This is NOT the standard by which a private citizen would be judged. It’s not enough that you believe there is an imminent threat, it must be a REASONABLE belief. In other words, a hypothetical “reasonable person” would also believe they were in danger in a similar situation.
Obviously that’s not the case here. A reasonable person would know that open carry is legal, and a reasonable person would also know that someone simply carrying a firearm is not necessarily threatening anyone. Otherwise we could shoot police officers on sight with no repercussions, if simply carrying their firearms constituted a threat.
That’s down in Euharlee Georgia and that decision is in the hands of the DA and the GBI as well — we’re waiting.
No, but it is getting to the point where a firearm combined with a badge constitutes much more of a threat than a firearm alone.
The newest excuse of the Tyranny:
Yeah, definitely makes you more uncomfortable nowadays.
Evidently, in the Brave New World, it is.
Cops can execute Citizens on the spot.
Judge, jury, executioner.
No — neither.
When the kid was down on the ground bleeding an motionless the cop shot him a few more times.
The police officer startled the kid when he drove up beside him shouting, and with his gun drawn. What follows is conjecture: the startled kid intended to show that the gun was simply a pellet gun and in the course of doing so pointed the barrel in the general direction of the officer. Officer Jumpy, who had shocked the kid, proceeds to empty his revolver into the kid's body.
Maybe it was one of the two dead boys who got up to fight in the middle of the night.
It's ALWAYS* a righteous shoot.
* unless there are multiple witnesses with video and the full glare of public exposure...
Why was the deputy there? Clearly, he was called. Someone else was concerned about the weapon this kid was carrying in a crap neighborhood. It is not mentioned in any article over the past several months why the deputy was called to the scene.
Things that were not printed in the paper; the kid was suspended from school; his parents are illegals; it is rumored he threatened a woman with the weapon and that is why the police were called. People will say what difference does this make? True enough, but in a story of another youth shot in Windsor the paper points out he was an “A” student, parents employed. Why is it relevant in one case and not another?
Easy to arm chair qb the thing. Gelhaus is an Iraq vet. He has seen plenty of the AKs. Now QB this; yu are an Iraq vet, you are told someone is threatening people in a toilet of a neighborhood with a weapon, you show up, you see a sizable male (He did not appear as a 13 year old at your vacation Bible camp) with a weapon who turns to face yu weapon in hand.
And for the open carry folks (I am a fan of open carry). There is a difference between a slung weapon in a rural environment and carrying openingly in NYC. There is a difference between farmer Brown in rural Iowa and a young MExican in gang colors with an AK in hand in a crap neighborhood in a well populated area where nearly every other house is a grow.
Look at the pictures; the weapon looks real enough to me. Look at the 4 year old kid punching a effigy of the deputy; the communty’s attitude is a combative one.
Dey say you was hung!
Dey wuz right!
(or did you mean he should be hanged?)
lemme see, he had this AK-74 lookalike, with the orange tip removed, and he had a pistol likewise with the orange tip removed. sounds like a thug to me, trying to intimidate people with his ‘weapons’. where were his parents when he a) got the guns, and b) removed the orange tip. he purposely led people top think that they were real guns rather than toys. the cop was correct to have the impression that the kid wanted him to have - that they were real.
stupid kid paid the price for being ‘a tough guy’
10 seconds -- to stop the car, pull his gun, yell at the kid, get out of the car, stoop behind the door and the engine, wait for a response, fire 8 shots, then call dispatch to report shots fired.
And the trainee who was on the drivers side closer to the kid and more directly vulnerable if he did fire never fired.
Who are you kidding??? Cops with brains are fully aware that there are toys looking like real things out there but a trained cop who teaches firearms to trainees should be able to tell the difference. Even an untrained eye can see which is the toy.
And even if it was real what gives him the right to shoot the carrier in the back — within less than 10 seconds of seeing him???
A 4-year-old boy punched and stomped on a piñata with an image of Gelhaus’ face before other protesters joined in. Several people wore shirts adorned with the image of Lopez and chanted in Spanish Para Andy, justicia.
So it is now open season on all kids legally carrying their toyguns???
Should have painted that pellet gun orange/Sarc.
He wasn’t shot in the back, he was shot in he side as he spun around. His arms were raised as he raised the weapon in hand. All the witnesses verify this. That was why one round was in his side and not his arm as it would be if his hands were at his side. He was shot seven out of eight rounds fired.
Excessive? Read “Handgun Stopping Power” by Marshall and Sanow and note how many mortally shot, in fact dead perps shoot people.
The deputy was within the guidelines. If he was a light em up kind of guy, he likely would not have made it through Iraq.
I am all for police operating according to the same guidlines service personel in Afghanistan and Iraq operate by; do not fire unless fired upon, but I do not think we will be happy with the results.
As a poster noted abouve, he wanted people to think the weapon was real, the officer obliged.
Why would you shoot a dead boy? Waste of ammunition.
Protesters for Andy Lopez
Carrying a replica AK47 assault rifle down a street, after being warned by people in the area to put it down, was not a good decision. Turning toward a law enforcement officer with the weapon was another bad decision.
Removing the orange plugs off the ends of two airsoft guns (unlawful)
A juvenile out in public with airsoft BB guns (unlawful) Parents told Andy not to take the realistic guns out in public
Friends warned Andy not to walk down the street with the realistic looking guns.
I'm not sure you intend this, but you just built the foundation of an argument for NOT hiring combat veterans to be public servants in the police department.
Yep. Lovely image. Did you see the one of the kids punching the effigy?
Look at the size of some of the protesters. Do you see anyone dressed respectably?
There is No Statute of Limitations on MURDER, A new DA could file and convict tomorrow.
I observe that this incident occurred in heavily gun-controlled California, in an area heavily populated by illegal aliens. I suggest for consideration that if honest citizens were not obstructed from arming and defending themselves, and if illegal aliens were routinely deported, then junior grade thugs would be less likely to commit (simulated) armed robbery.
“I’m not sure you intend this, but you just built the foundation of an argument for NOT hiring combat veterans to be public servants in the police department. “
Certainly not. My point is this deputy had way more experience than most and saw a threat. If a combat vet felt threatened it is probably safe to say there was a threat.
I remember a fire fghter at a party where people were burnng stuff in the fireplace. The fire fighter felt concerned and expressed concern. He encouraged people to leave the building. He was right. It wasn’t paranoia. The fire got out of control and he likely saved everyone.
He was in the process of turning around to his right with the gun in his left hand to see who was yelling at from behind.
Gelhaus was by then hiding behind his car door and the car engine.
The first shot went into his right chest and probably killed him but Gelhause continued to shoot while the kid was on the ground with his head away from him — 8 shots.
All this within 10 seconds.
There is no defense for this —
Also see my comments in #38. This situation "went wrong" before it even started.
Not only that, the area this happened in, the local paper had an article abuot how nearly every other house was a grow, a dealer or gang affiliate.
If the neighbors knew that it was a toygun, then why couldn’t Santa Rosa’s finest — especially the guy who spends so much time at the shooting range and teaches trainees firearm safety???
In related news, the parents of 13-year-old Andy Lopez will sue Gelhaus and Sonoma County in the death of their son. The federal civil rights lawsuit will be filed on Monday at the Federal District Court in San Francisco.
The lawsuit will allege that the shooting of Andy was unconstitutional in that it violated the Fourth Amendments limits on police authority.
Lopez had an AK-47 AND A Replica handgun in his waistband.
a neighbor told him the deputies were behind him, driving up to him and he needed to put the gun down..this before the sound of the siren and then the officer yelling twice to put the gun down. Tragic he didnt comply.
he recently transferred to program designed for behavior management
According to his father, he was expelled from Lawrence Cook Middle School in Santa Rosa. On Tuesday, he had been sent home early from his new alternative school, for what his parents described as lingering too long at a local store during a break.
There is no doubt this was a mistake, but given all the factors; call to the scene (someone else felt threatened or perceived such), bad violent neighborhood (the helicopters hover over it every night without anyone shot), gang colors, non-compliant, realistic toy weapon, I tend to side with reasonable mistake. The deputy knew the neighborhood. I do not perceive him as trigger happy.
Thanks for the info.
The inside story I cannot verify is that Lopez tried to rob a woman using the toy.
More Than 1,000 Attend Andy Lopez Protest Rally in Santa Rosa
Some of us are too busy working to attend a ‘protest rally’ on a Tuesday in the middle of the day especially since some of these people are illegals.
Investigators say the hoodie-wearing teen didnt comply with commands to drop the gun and was turning toward deputies while raising the barrel when he was shot seven
Victor Manieri, 15, a freshman at Elsie Allen High School, left school early to join the march
Mitzi Reyes, 16, a junior at Elsie Allen, marched with her mother and two younger brothers.
KRON 4 reports that Santa Rosa school officials, as well as school district administrators and elected school board members, urged students to stay in class during the protest march.
Look at the pictures and you tell me which is which.
It is illegal for a 13 year old to purchase, brandish or carry in public a replica gun.
The protesters, including middle- and high-school-age students and members of the Occupy movement, assembled in downtown Santa Rosa before marching through streets with signs and hooded sweatshirts bearing photos of the boy.
I believe it was an airsoft gun, not a pellet gun. They are considered replicas and usually have the same size and weight of a real gun. In many states it is illegal to remove the orange tip.
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