Skip to comments.Sheriff's deputy will NOT be charged for shooting dead 13-year-old child.
Posted on 07/11/2014 11:34:04 PM PDT by Rabin
Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus shouted then shot (dead 13-year-old Andy Lopez on October 22, 2013), Eric fired eight rounds. The hit / miss order can never be known. What is known is that Andy had failed to orange tip the bb-gun and that he never returned fire. Forensic indicate the 73 lb. perp took three 44 hollow points in the back and right side (falling?) plus four horizontals, head , neck lower...
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas called for passage of a state Senate bill that would require pellet guns to look clearly different from those that fire bullets, but stopped short of calling for the murder of violators.
What would they charge him with, excessive jumpiness? Desecration of a corpse?
Police carry .44s now? Why not .50 caliber?
How about murder.
Shooting a corpse is probably a crime... somewhere.
That was not a 13 year old ‘Baby’. The kid was almost adult size, he held what appeared to be a gun, and most importantly, would not put it down when asked repeatedly to do so. I have nothing against legal carrying, but be ready to deal with legitimate questions from cops, it’s going to happen. Don’t play debating games with police who have been called because someone in that neighborhood looked suspicious. That is their job to find out who’s doing what. Some folks will purposely alter a BB gun or toy replica so that it’s very similar to a real one. Many homeowners who can’t afford a real gun may do this to make a burglar stop and think before completing the break in.
From what I understand, from other sites, the kid wasn’t given a chance to put it down. The cop commanded him to put it down and almost immediately started firing into the kid’s back.
Within ten seconds, from the time the cops spotted the kid, he was gunned down.
It was an 18 round 9mm S&W pistol, not sure who invented the .44
Here is the report:
No rounds entered the kid’s back.
I was griping about the headline-writer’s composition skills.
This event happened only a mile or so from us so I’ve been following this from the beginning. The sheriff’s deputies were not called to the scene, but were just out cruising. They saw the “perp” (Andy Lopez, who was walking down the sidewalk with his back to them) with the “gun,” chirped the siren ONCE, stopped the car, jumped out and took defensive positions behind the car doors.
Deputy Jumpy (oh, sorry, Gelhaus) called for the kid to drop the weapon and turn around. The kid turned but didn’t drop the weapon. (Later, in his report, Gelhaus said he didn’t remember whether or not he identified himself as an officer. So Lopez was not “asked repeatedly” to put down his weapon.) When Lopez was turned about halfway around (probably thinking “Huh? Who’s yelling at me?”) Gelhaus opened fire, shooting eight rounds in less than two seconds. First round hit a house behind Lopez (good shooting, Deputy Jumpy!), second round took the kid in the heart, final round went in through his buttocks and up through his torso, indicating the kid was lying down at that point.
Oh, and just so you know . . . from the time the deputies saw Lopez until Gelhaus began shooting was nineteen seconds. So as you can see, this was a very calm and reasoned approach to a possibly dangerous individual. (Do I have to say /sarc here?)
This event reminds me very much of the Officer Jumpy in Seattle who shot the deaf Indian woodcarver to death on the streets of downtown. That Officer Jumpy saw a knife in the man’s hand (he was an accomplished woodcarver and everyone downtown knew him), stopped his car, jumped out, screamed for the man to put down his weapon, and when the deaf man (DEAF man!) began to turn, finally figuring out something was going on, the officer unloaded his weapon and shot the “perp” to death. He felt “threatened” despite the fact that the knife was over ten feet from him. I believe that officer was finally charged, though.
I hope I’m not coming off as a cop hater. I have almost reverence for the profession as a whole. BUT bad cops need to at least be told to find another line of work, permanently. Gelhaus has no business being anywhere near a gun while wearing a badge.
Isn't it curious that civilian police within the USA operates as if they are soldiers that occupy a foreign, hostile land and shoot citizens on sight for any offense that is real or imagined?
Isn't it also curious that US soldiers that occupy a foreign, hostile land act as civilian police officers, afraid to aim their unloaded guns at the attacker?
Your version seems the most reasonable. Every if the cops had identified themselves, it’s a normal reaction to not immediately comply, because it takes a moment for most people to process a shouted order and most people would turn around to see who is giving the order.
The kid’s actions weren’t one of defiance, but momentarily confused.
There was another news article this past week, about a man who butchered his sister-in-law and nearly the entire family of the couple and their four little kids by shooting them in the back of the head after forcing them to lay face-down on their floor of their home. The cops (dozens of them) chased down the perp, surrounding his car, and talked him into surrendering after almost 3 hours. If cops can talk a gun-wielding mass murderer into surrendering, then why not negotiate with a 13-year-old who is not suspected of any crime?
Spot on! There are too many in the police ranks who would like nothing better than to make this nation a police state. These individuals have deep rooted psychological problems. Perhaps they were the bully we suffered though in our school days. There is only one way to create a safer police force: psychological testing—and retesting. With today’s police state, even your loving dog is not safe with these deranged cops.
The report is pretty comprehensive.
I don’t see how anyone can blame the officer at all.
It is not against the law to carry a weapon.
Your excusing the murder of a person, shows that you are not intelligent enough to put together a cognizant thought. So stop trying to, you look like an idiot.
Your excusing this asphalt pirate of murder, clearly shows your lack of depth of understanding even simple concepts.
The kids actions werent one of defiance, but momentarily confused.
* * *
The kid wasn’t an angel (the autopsy revealed he had THC in his system) but he didn’t seem to be a gangbanger either. The sidewalk where he was shot was right beside an open field where local kids used to play “cops and robbers” and variants on that all the time. The gun was borrowed from a friend. (I don’t know if his parents knew he had it or not.)
I just look at this as, what if this happened to me? I’m a middle aged woman, but what if I was walking along with say, a stick of wood or something that looked like a gun, and Officer Jumpy yelled at me from behind? Especially if I didn’t hear that single chirp of the siren, if all I heard was people yelling in an excited way behind me, I would probably turn around to see what the fuss was about also. And then I guess I’d be dead.
We need to de-militarize our police. In most instances, it’s not necessary. When officers want to be heros all the time — the wrong kind of heroes — it leads to unnecessary and tragic results.
The criticism is that the cops didn’t give the kid a chance to try and obey a lawfully given order. The cops gave the order and basically started unloading their weapons within a couple of seconds after the order. I’ve been yelled at by cops and I can tell you that it can take a second or two to process what you are being told to do, especially if you didn’t see the cops beforehand.
If the kid had raised the gun, apparently with the intent to fire, I wouldn’t be criticizing the cops. However, the kid knew he only had a pellet gun so it’s unlikely that he would have done that.
I agree with you. Cops are being trained as if our cities and towns are war zones and civilians are the enemies.
If cops can talk a gun-wielding mass murderer into surrendering, then why not negotiate with a 13-year-old who is not suspected of any crime?
* * *
We’re on the same wavelength!! I read that and thought the exact same thing. Also, another incident occurred some months earlier in Fountaingrove, a swanky area not too far from the more rural neighborhood where Lopez was shot. A man had actually fired shots and was threatening people, but the police took several hours and talked him down. Story here: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20131010/articles/131019998
Now, two different sets of cops were involved. But the Santa Rosa cops took the time to make it all come out the best they could. Deputy Jumpy, in the Sheriff’s dept, just wanted a kill, if you ask me. (The other deputy did not fire any shots.) And this isn’t the first time the Sheriff’s dept. has had unnecessary kills. Oh, and just to make it all cozy, the D.A. and the Sheriff are apparently BFF’s. She was the introductory speaker at a big fundraiser for him. So she’s clearly, like, completely unbiased.
An AK round will not be stopped by a car door, so you have no cover, and can take less chances, if you are a cop facing an AK.
Witness #4 stated that he drove by the kid moments before and warned the kid about the police coming up behind him, and told the kid to throw the rifle away. The kid paid no attention.
Can’t wait to see if it’s a real AK when you have no cover.
The cops were behind their cruiser doors when they gave the order. Few people are so good a shot that they can shoot accurately just by turning around and cocking their weapon.
So the police should shoot on sight any armed civilian?
The cop is guilty of murder in reality even if the “justice system” lets cops off.
This is an article about the “unbiased” “scientist” the D.A.’s office used to justify this shooting:
Bill Lewinski defends cops accused of excessive force
There are no 11 round .44 pistols on the market.
Given the report, the evidence, and the witnesses, no grand jury would indict, and no trial jury would convict, imo.
Well, no one was shot in the back this case.
Well, you go ahead and wait then, I wouldn’t. You can certainly make your own decision.
“There are no 11 round .44 pistols on the market.”
I think that was a joke regarding the original post.
There were no .44 caliber pistols involved in the story.
My guess is that the Daily Mail article was corrected.
So it’s ok to kill anyone carrying an ak? What about an ar? What about a deer rifle?
“Isn’t it curious.....”
We need “Like” and “Share” buttons for posts like yours.
These are my exact sentiments, and I’m sure there are many others who think the same way. But more people need to get the message; the cops’ ROE and the military’s ROE are backwards.
Sorry. I understand now.
Given the report, the evidence, and the witnesses, no grand jury would indict, and no trial jury would convict, imo.
* * *
You may well be right. However, it’s my contention that the D.A. should have turned the whole thing over to another agency (as she was asked to, but refused) given her well-known cozy relationship with local LEOs, specifically the Sheriff.
There was a time when officers put the safety of the public before their own. It was considered part of the job.
Consider what would happen to you if you were the one who killed this kid because you thought he “had a gun”?
Why are you held to a higher standard than the police?
I bet you believe all those reports that the Obama administration puts out about how they investigate themselves and find nothing wrong,too.
Seriously? You would murder a child in cold blood rather than wait to find out if he was actually a threat? At least it's okay with you that Jonty30 wouldn't stoop to that level. This is not the difference between butter pecan and strawberry ice cream. All choices are not valid.
Actually “shooting dead” is the proper phrase in this case since he fired his final shots into him after he was likely dead or not far from it laying on the ground bleeding to death.
Get your facts straight —
Gelhaus was on routine patrol — they were not called to that neighborhood.
And from the time that the call was made to dispatch of a suspicious person to the time the kid was dead with 7 shots in him was 10 seconds — 10 seconds.
When did he yell — when he was still in the car with the door closed??? before he chirped the siren and turned on the lights or after or during??
And what did he yell — drop your gun or turn around and drop your gun??? How could he comply — he wasn’t carrying a gun.
The kid was shot in the right side with the toygun in his left hand as he was turning to the right.
There is no way the barrel of the gun was pointing in quickdraw’s direction — no way.
If he was close enough to feel fear then he was close enough to see that the toygun was a toygun with screws in the stock that was made of shiny plastic and a cheap silver metal barrel without a sight cut off like kids do with those pellet guns and being carried in the left hand — the offhand — like a toy by somebody who looked like a kid.
If Gelhaus was not close enough to see that it was a toygun then he was not close enough to feel threatened.
I read through this in its entirety. Two things stick with me: 1) Deputy Gelhaus when recounting the events became ‘...emotional when describing the fear that he felt...’ and, 2) There was more than one witness who stated they believed that the gun they saw was a toy, replica or Airsoft Pellet gun.
From my perspective, all of this after-the-fact carefully worded explanation in the report does not remove the most basic of questions. Where is the dashcam video of the police cruiser? There is a witness photograph of the two officers crouching in their door pockets (directly behind them at the time of the shooting). This indicates that the cruiser was pointed directly at the 13 year old. Where is it?
Except for the last one that entered his buttocks as he was on the ground and went up into his spine -- meaning that he was shot while laying helpless dying on the ground.
All the rest hit the right chest, right hip, right hand, right arm, right side of left arm -- meaning that Gelhaus's decision to shoot took place when the kid's back was turned as he was in the process of turning around.
The police report said 10 seconds and that number came from police dispatch.
It was 10 seconds from the time Gelhaus called in his report of a suspicious person to the follow up call of shots fired.
10 seconds is all Gelhaus gave him --
Your opinion isn't worth squat.
This case will move to civil court and the city will settle out of court for upwards of $20 million to keep the public from hearing all the facts.
One day many will be painting their real firearms with orange tips...
Is it illegal to carry an uncased rifle in Commiefornia? Seems that the cops have just received approval to gun down (without warning) anyone who is carrying a weapon.
Our troops have far stricter ROEs than our LEOs. It should be the other way around. However, we are now under the thumb of the socialists (and, yes, our government has become socialist).
“If cops can talk a gun-wielding mass murderer into surrendering, then why not negotiate with a 13-year-old who is not suspected of any crime?”
Excellent point and well stated.