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Thursday, 24 October 2013

A 13-year-old from California carrying a replica gun has been shot dead by police

A 13-year-old boy carrying  a replica gun was shot dead by the police in the US state of California. This incident happened a day after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada shot dead a maths teacher at his school and wounded two pupils before taking his own life.

In the latest incident, two sheriff's deputies saw the teen "with what appeared to be some type of rifle", a news release from the Sonoma County Sheriff's office said.

The deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered the boy to drop the gun before firing several rounds from their handguns, police said

Officers in the city of Santa Rosa say they opened fire after the boy refused orders to drop the rifle, which they believed to be real.

"He was holding the weapon in his left hand. He began to turn toward his right in the direction of the deputy, and in so doing he moved the gun toward the deputy, and the deputy's mindset was that he was fearful he would be shot," Lt Paul Henry of Santa Rosa police said.

The boy, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was later identified by his family as Andy Lopez and the shooting is now being investigated.

But the boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez said the shooting made no sense. "My son lost his life. He's not alive any more just because of the mistake of somebody."

The replica gun had belonged to a friend, he said.

One man who saw the events explained that the shooting was over in an instant.

"He pulled over to the kid walking and he just opened the door and shot him, three shots," Ismael Mondragon told KGO-TV.

Police Lt Dennis O'Leary said the deputies had been placed on administrative leave pending the inquiry.

Sheriff Steve Freitas described the shooting as a "tragedy" and promised the investigation would be thorough and transparent.

A spokeswoman for the boy's school described him as "a very loved student, a very popular, very handsome young man, very smart and capable".

Linsey Gannon, assistant principal at Lawrence Cook Middle School, said he played trumpet in the school band.

"Our community has been rocked by his loss," she said.

Candles, teddy bears and flowers have since been left at the scene of the shooting.


May his soul rest in perfect peace

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