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California cop spared charges in mistaken killing of boy with toy gun
reuters.com Northern California prosecutors have decided against bringing criminal charges against a sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a plastic replica of an assault rifle that the officer mistook for a real gun. The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office concluded in a report unveiled on Monday that deputy Erick Gelhaus "honestly and reasonably" believed he faced an imminent of threat of death or serious bodily harm to himself or others when he shot the youth, Andy Lopez, last October. The eighth-grader, clad in a hooded sweatshirt, was walking near his home on the way to a friend's house in the wine-country town of Santa Rosa when Gelhaus and his partner spotted the boy from their patrol car carrying what appeared to be an AK-47. The deputies stopped their car and ordered Andy to drop the gun, but as the youth turned toward the officers, Gelhaus saw the rifle barrel rise upward and he fired eight shots at the boy, according to police accounts of an incident that unfolded in a matter of seconds. The gun in question turned out to be an imitation AK-47 capable of shooting pellets or BBs, investigators said. The orange tip of the barrel designed to distinguish the replica from a real gun had been broken off. to read more: reuters.com
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