October 29th, 2013
04:27 AM ET

Teen Boy Killed Holding Fake Gun

Teenager Andy Lopez was playing with a fake rifle when a sheriff's deputy in a Northern California town mistook it for a real gun. The veteran officer fired eight rounds and killed the boy. The community is now devastated and the funeral for Lopez is later today.

The reports are that the officer asked the boy to drop the weapon and he didn't drop it, CNN's Dan Simon reports.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas says he can't go into details of the case but he confirms the deputy who fired the shots is Eric Gelhaus, a 24 year member of the force and a veteran of the Iraq war.

Investigators say that only ten seconds passed from the moment Gelhaus and his partner reported a suspicious person to when they called back to report that shots were fired.

Lieutenant Paul Henry from the Santa Rosa Police Department spoke with "New Day's" Chris Cuomo  Tuesday.

Cuomo raised the point that there's been a history in the community of issues with police. Henry does not address the ethnicity or socioeconomic status of the area in his response. He simply says citizens must wait for the investigation to continue.

"The message to the community, what we would ask for at this point, I guess is patience. We are in the very early stages of this investigation. It will take a number of weeks, in fact, it will take months, to complete the investigation, and once we have done that – we'll forward it to the District Attorney's office, they will review the entire investigation, they'll determine if there's more information necessary and ultimately, they'll make a decision about the criminal culpability on the part of the people involved."

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soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Peter

    Paul G, thanks for calling me "chump". It brings back nostalgia. Your opinion, though, is idiotic. Quick everyone, count down 10 seconds, you know, 1-Mississippi, 2-Mississippi,..... Tell me if that feels like a short time for a person to drop what appears to be a weapon. He was not "unarmed". He was , by any logical judgment, saying the same type of lethal weapon that has been used in countless mass killings. As far as B=NY being a "police state", I don't know, maybe it is. I do know that the reason police ( which incidentally are remarkably restrained in the amount of fatal shootings) are forced to be tough because of the amount of pure idiots, criminals and psychopaths that live here.

    October 30, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  2. FlapJackModeen

    Well I think this Halloween every parent who takes their kids out for Trick r Treat..should carry an AK47 style firearm of some sort. Hell why not arm the ones handing out the goodies.with stun guns and body armor...and this Xmas season lets arm every Mall Santa with a bulletproof cage and a storm of body guards at his side..

    .PEOPLE WHAT IS THE PROBLEM.!!..WE ARE BECOMING A LOCKDOWN SOCIETY.!!..

    its sad that this young man was killed, but what if it was a real Ak47 and the kid was some disturbed nut, then we would be complaining Law Enforcement didn't act quickly enough. This country's fascination with violence and guns is becoming our worst threat to our national security..what parent would allow, or even purchase a faux Ak47 style firearm for a child is beyond me...or for the said minor to walk down the street in a high crime neighborhood makes some of us shake our heads in disbelief...

    October 29, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
  3. Charles

    Terrible, but anyone who can read or watch TV should know that you can't walk around with a toy AK47. Either mentally ill or dumb as dirt. The cops are quick to fire because every hillbilly in the country is carrying weapons.

    October 29, 2013 at 9:02 am | Reply
    • FlapJackModeen

      well said...a logical mind at work...we don't see many anymore

      Thanks

      October 29, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  4. Dee

    There is something hinky about this ... if you look at the picture in the story above with the guy holding the two rifles you will see the toy rifle in his left hand is missing the front sight and part of the barrel ... if you look at Airsodt or BB gun AK-47's or any "toy gun" that shoots anything and looks realistic there an orange section at the end of the barrel , either the last couple inches of the barrel or an orange cap over the end of the barrel. It is missing in the picture.. the orange is so folks will know it is a toy, it is a universal toy industry standard .. the question I have is when was it missing, before the shooting or after? And why isn't this standard recognition feature mentioned in the story.

    look at this toy catalog http://www.hobbytron.com/search.php/Airsoft-Guns/Airsoft-Rifles/_/N-abvZ1z141xp?No=0 to see what I am talking about

    October 29, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • joe

      Dont believe that in the MICROSECONDS a cop has to decide in a life or death situation whether he goes home safely to his/her family that he/she is able to process your observations within that time frame. That being said, sadly, it cost a child his life............

      October 29, 2013 at 9:11 am | Reply
    • joe

      @ "Dee", that is..................

      October 29, 2013 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Jenny

      The bright orange cap is legally mandated for toy guns of any type. It is against the law to remove the cap. The law is printed on the packaging of all toy guns right down to brightly colored squirt guns.

      January 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  5. Sarcastro

    This is simply the logical conclusion of the NRA's policy of wanting to combat gun violence with more guns.

    They cowboy attitude of "If only more good guys with guns were there" leads to this exact outcome- Good guys have a split second to make a judgement call and react to a potentially deadly mass murder to stop it before a kid with a gun opens fire.

    This is what you wanted NRA- Everyone itching to shoot at the first sign of trouble. This is the more gun mentality played to its logical conclusion.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:54 am | Reply
  6. Kat

    Ten seconds? 10 seconds! The cops saw the kid, called it in to dispatch, waited for a response from dispatch, stopped their car, got out of their car, told the kid to disarm, waited for the kid to comply, the kid didn't comply, the officer drew his weapon, the officer cocked his weapon, the officer aimed his weapon, the officer fired his weapon, the bullet traveled whatever distance and killed the kid. All in TEN SECONDS. I don't believe it for even one second. This kid was likely dead before he even called in the report of suspicion.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
    • REALLY?

      Good thing a witness, as was reported in this very story, confounds your suspicions entirely.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  7. PaulG

    Where is the dash cam video?

    October 29, 2013 at 8:51 am | Reply
  8. We're Really Talking About This

    Even if it was legal to carry a rifle down the street – which in CA it's not – once a LEO identifies himself and gives you a directive, you just follow it. Once it's clear that you are either following the law or it's a toy, then the LEO and you go about your lives and no one gets shot. But if the LEO tells you to put it down and you turn and point the weapon (or a toy that is incredibly realistic) at the LEO, you've now put the LEO in the position of having to make the call to defend themselves. Yes, PaulG, the military follows a strict ROE, but the basis of that ROE is hostile intent/hostile act. Not following a directive and pointing a weapon at someone would get you shot by that ROE. And bdby, you're a fool if you think that all AK47s look the same, especially in the middle east. I've seen AK47s with purple tape and streamers...it's not uncommon for them to be modified in any number of ways, and that toy in the picture looks more like an AK47 than some actual AK47s I saw. So to make the monday morning quarterback comment that he "should have known in an instant" based upon his experience in Iraq is reckless and innaccurate at best. Bottom line – if the kid had put it down when he was told to instead of pointing it at the LEO he'd be alive.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:47 am | Reply
  9. Concerned_Citizen

    10 seconds was about 5 seconds too many if the deputy ordered the teen to drop the weapon. Toy manufacturers go to great lengths to make their toy guns look as fake as possible and still make them marketable. Teens who remove the orange plastic, or spray over it with a semigloss black or silver paint are just looking for trouble. I was a Navy Master-at-Arms, (Law enforcement officer) and a deputy sheriff when I got out. Going to school functions, one of the 1st things I'd stress to middle and high schoolers is if you have a real looking toy gun and one of us tells you to drop it,... DROP IT! Of course I'd also tell them NEVER point it at an officer even in play. That toy AK looks real enough, and in a split second decision I would have fired too.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:46 am | Reply
  10. Cassarit

    Round up the police animal who did this and exterminate him.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
  11. Paranoid_America

    Im not sure what the law is in CALI but for most east coast states it is completely legal to walk around with a LONG GUN (ie... rifle) in your possesion. An extremely small precentage of AK-47's are actually assualt rifles. Granted that law would apply to adults not minors... A military veteran should easily know what a real AK-47 looks like and he should have exhibited some common sense and relied on his training. Geeze, these police thugs are so quick to pull the trigger rather then do what they are paid to do and evaluate the situation and de-escalate to avoid confrontation. They could have easily taken cover and used a megaphone, shot him in the leg, shot in the air. I know several police and its obvious they are rewarded for de-escalating situations....its a thug culture. Of course if my life was on the line id be the same way with all the crazies out here.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:45 am | Reply
    • Paranoid_America

      ^ are NOT rewarded...

      October 29, 2013 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • REALLY?

      In what strange world do you live? Cover, from what appeared to the officer to be an AK? Warning shot? Where would that shot land? Shoot to wound? And all EASY??? Seems to me you are supporting your own opinion of police, based on your perception, instead of reality...which is and has been for a long time, based upon the officer's point of view, and not yours. It is a good thing indeed that the tough calls are not yours to make. Of course, if YOU think you could do better, YOU could apply YOURSELF to be a police officer...since you have it all figured out to conclusion after reading a story, posted by the media, who of course never, ever gets things wrong.

      October 29, 2013 at 9:55 am | Reply
  12. REALLY?

    Suspiciously vague story to me. Huffington Post mentions two critical points: One a witness who warned Lopez about carrying the look alike gun, as police were in the area, the other point that a witness overheard the officer yelling at Lopez TWICE to drop the gun, before he fired. This seems to me to not be like the other recent story, of a bad shooting and a false report. Instead, CNN as ever keeps the fires burning against cops, by failing to report the facts. Seems some people at CNN never took their ethics in journalism class in college!

    October 29, 2013 at 8:43 am | Reply
  13. DD

    The officer fired 8 bullets .... 8 really. This is a bit of overkill, particularly since 7 hit the kid. Two would have been sufficient to take the kid down. He might have lived. Perhaps PTSD from his Iraq war experience made the officer mentally over reactive in this situation.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • RD

      If you are going to use deadly force, you don't shoot and wait to see how effective the first few rounds are. You fire until the threat is neutralized (Not necessarily killed, just no longer able to function as a threat). He perceived this kid as a threat with a rifle and he fired until the kid went down.
      Contrary to what they show in movies and on TV, gunshot wounds don't knock you off your feet, and unless they hit something vital, they don't necessarily incapacitate someone. A person can take multiple rounds and still present themselves as a threat. That is why he fired 8 times. It was 8 shots that were needed (7, technically) to neutralize the threat.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  14. Alan

    Toy gun. Stupid cops. Dead kid.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
    • RD

      Airsoft gun.
      (Not a toy. It says so right on the packaging of pretty much all airsoft guns, along with 18+)

      Foolish/naive kid. (he was actually breaking at least 3 laws before the cops even showed up. His ignorance of those laws was a contributing factor in the outcome.)

      Unfortunate outcome.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
  15. Juanito

    I can't imagine what his parents are going through this morning, and the officer that shot him.

    It's a different time and parents need to go way above what my parents had to do to protect us.

    Now we have to tell them that whenever a cop tells you to do something, you just do it. Kids today don't have the same respect for authority and they will question/challenge teachers, other parents, police officers. If a cop told us to do something(and they did), we broke records doing it.

    It's not a out blaming anyone(it seems to be the thing to do these days), but just trying to prevent this from happening to your kids.

    The Lord be with everyone involved with this, and all you readers as well.

    In His Love, Juanito.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • MommaJ

      The kid was shot AS HE WAS TURNING AROUND to see who was yelling at him. 10 seconds between the report of a gun sighting and a report that shots were fired.

      This was not a case of a child not respecting authority. He was TURNING when he was killed. He had no clue, surely, that cops were yelling at him nor had time to react.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:38 am | Reply
      • REALLY?

        MommaJ-AS was reported in the Huff Post, a witness has been identified as warning Lopez about carrying the pellet gun, and that officers were in the area, in addition to another witnesss being identified as yelling at the boy TWICE to drop the gun. The toy was altered, in violation of California law, as was reported on the main CNN story video. Why was that? I assume that it was because he wanted it to look REAL. The warning was in his mind....he was told. He ignored the warning. He ignored and did not comply with simple verbal commands. As to who is at fault, three agencies are investigating the shooting. I wonder, "momma" if you as a parent would conclude based on the above story alone, say as told to you by another parent, of the actions of your child or children, that the story was true, or would you attempt to get more information first? And (assuming you do in fact use good parenting skills, by taking time to evaluate facts first), have any of the decisions you have made in your ENTIRE life been life or death, and you have been forced to make that decision in ten seconds? I have several times, some of which were in less than ten seconds. I assume you have not.

        October 29, 2013 at 10:29 am |
  16. james munsell

    I have an old cap gun that is a Mac – 10 and very realistic. I was talking with a cop friend who was moonlighting as a security guard were I worked at the time. He asked to see it. I brought it in the next day and his eyes about fell out of his head. His response was simple. It is a cool toy but if I see you in a store with it I will shoot you. If it was the real deal and I were to go bonkers. It would (No I would) do so much damage that I would need to be stopped very quickly.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
  17. syzito

    The officer shot to fast and didn't use common sense in killing the kid. The police have developed the mental attitude of the military....Shoot first ask questions later.Hopefully the police department will be suited into oblivion.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:09 am | Reply
  18. Henry222

    What a tragedy it was... nevertheless, it is hardly the false of the police officer.

    October 29, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
  19. catous6

    10 seconds!! That's the length of time it took between the initial report, discharging 8 rounds and reporting "Shots fired"!! 10 Seconds!! I've been a Soldier for over 20 years and I'd get even MORE SCRUTINY IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN If that was the timeline..... I'd be facing courts martial.... The officer is going to say he was fearful for his life that's why he fired... Of course who wouldn't be? Bu let's for instance they saw Andy Lopez walking with the rifle. Called it in. Pulled up behind him and then issued orders. It's human nature that anyone would turn around to see who's screaming at them from behind – thus the officers fired... One round... ok, two rounds.. maybe.. eight?? that's excessive force!! Why because the officer could have killed or injured civilians firing that many times... That's reckless

    October 29, 2013 at 7:51 am | Reply
  20. thefactsmatter

    If the man with the gun and badge tells you to put down the weapon, you do so! He doesn't know if its real, or if there has been a crime nearby. Policemen are authority figures. They are paid to be!

    October 29, 2013 at 7:46 am | Reply
  21. damien

    stating that he is a veteran means what exactly? so he shouldve fired a warning shot at least espeacially if the kid was as uneducated about guns as they say he was. some how cops are the only people in the world that can shoot people and get away with it because the badge justifies their actions. go freakin figure

    October 29, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
    • TA

      Warning shot? You have someone turning an AK on you and you want to give them more time? Are you nuts?

      October 29, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  22. Melanie Richard

    Is ten seconds really enough time to make a decision? Even the police are gun scared now, with all the death and destruction of teenagers killing their teachers and other students. Times have changed definitely. These toy guns do not need to be identical to the real thing. What the hell are the manufacturers thinking? Looks like a game changer. I hope this never happens again.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:42 am | Reply
  23. Kevin

    How long does the police officer have to wait until defending himself? Until bullets are flying his way? After he has already taken at least one bullet? This is the same as self defense anywhere. Think about it. How long do you have to wait while being beaten up to defend yourself? Until you're unconscious? This is incredibly sad but the officer is not wrong for defending himself.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:41 am | Reply
  24. Hanzo

    The cop probably taught he was Judge Dredd - only Dredd actually issues multiple warnings before gunning down the "alleged" criminal. Sad.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
  25. Marie

    Kids shouldn't be walking the streets with fake assault weapons. Period. Police can't walk up to someone and ask if it's a fake gun before you decide to act – people will be dead by then. This is terribly tragic but who bought this for him and why??? Playing cops and robbers with bandanas around your neck and bow and arrows made out of sticks and string is totally different than walking around with a fake assault weapon that can't be distinguished with a real one unless you are holding it in your hands.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:40 am | Reply
  26. Brian

    ouflak... What your forgetting (while I do not condone police shooting without cause) is that in the REAL world if someone is pointing an AK 47 at you and you cannot distingush if it is real or fake you MUST assume that it is real. I have seen first hand what a 7.62 Nato round can do to a human body and how little protection police officers wear to stop such a round. This is not just about police going off half cocked. You have to take into account that HINDSIGHT is ALWAYS 20/20 and you were not there with someone possibly holding and not dropping a REAL ak-47.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:36 am | Reply
    • Brent

      Brian Agree with you, but how did it play out? Cops roll up to a kid facing away from them. They tell him to drop rifle, Like most kids he does not think they are talking to him.... Yell again to drop the rifle... Kid spins around to tell them it is a pellet gun... Bang.. Tough life lesson

      October 29, 2013 at 8:02 am | Reply
    • Jack

      Just an FYI, a 7.62 Nato round is actually 7.62×51 aka a .308 round. An AK-47 fires a 7.62×39, a bit shorter, but still very deadly.
      -0331

      October 29, 2013 at 8:08 am | Reply
  27. Trent Mckee

    *firearm

    October 29, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
  28. PaulG

    It's about time we hold police accountable for their actions. Killing unarmed civilians and the mentally ill is not, and cannot be acceptable. Our military follows more strict rules of engagement than American LEOs.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Robert

      You're an idiot. I was in the US Marine Corps as an infantry man. During a patrol if someone holding a rifle fake or not came at us he may not have even been asked to drop it and wouldn't have been shot by just one person. It would have been anywhere from 1-12 marines armed with M-16A4s. Think about what you are saying before your fingers get ahead of your brain. When you're in that line of work you dont have time to think about someones intentions or whether the gun is real or fake, empty or loaded. You also arent thinking about your own survival, rather what will that person do to someone else if you dont stop them... If you sit there and think about all of those things and the gun had been real... you're dead... and so could a bunch of other people be. We need to start holding the idiots that imitate what they see on TV, games and movies accountable for their stupid decisions rather than blame the people that protect us everytime they do their job. I bet you if there was a cop outside sandyhook elementary that day the guy shot it up, you would not have wanted him to stop and think/ask if the gun was real...

      October 29, 2013 at 7:50 am | Reply
      • PaulG

        Cop killed an unarmed kid and needs to be held accountable.

        October 29, 2013 at 8:56 am |
  29. Peter

    You guys are kidding, right? I also played with toy guns in my childhood, though not at 13 years of age. My gun looked like a Roy Rodgers gun. Did you see this one? If a 13 year old boy, in this day and age, is walking around with an AK47 gun in the street, you are saying the cops should have casually approached him and written a ticket? LOL. It's not the cops that have changed, it is this society of lawlessness and violence that has turned the streets into a war zone. I live in NYC. I can tell you that a 13 year old with what looks like a Russian Assault Rifle walking the streets would make the whole block run for cover. But, you guys go right ahead. Join the police force and make it you business to walk up to kids with rifles and write them up. LOL again.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • PaulG

      "I live in NYC" That says it all right there. Sorry chump, the rest of the US isn't like the police states of NY and Kali. Shooting an unarmed child is not acceptable. Cops will be held accountable.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
  30. Eric

    Greg, you're right... I used to play cops and robbers too. It is a shame how times have changed and innocence seems to have been lost in society.

    Ouflak... Seriously??? Last week, a pre-teen shot and killed a teacher and injured two classmates. Another teenager slashed his teacher to death with a box cutter. I, as a police officer and the son of a teacher, shouldn't be forced to react as these officers did. As a husband and a father, my primary mission each day is to come home to my family. Have you looked at the photo in posted above? Please tell me which rifle is the real one... Wait, you looked too long... You're dead! Your children have lost a parent and your spouse is now a widow(er). Yes, it happens that fast and that's the reality.

    As you Monday morning quarterback these officers, realize that they had ten seconds to notice the kid, stop the car, get out of the car, identify themselves, take cover, draw their weapons, engage the percieved threat, and call for more units. What would be your response if the news story read... "Deputies ignore teenager carrying a rifle; Teen goes on shooting rampage at mall."

    October 29, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • PaulG

      Did the police in this case take fire from the teen? The answer is no, because he was unarmed. The US military has tighter rules of engagement than LEOs on American soil.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:03 am | Reply
      • Eric

        So it's only appropriate for the police to fire if they've been shot at??? If so, I'm not sure how you would expect them to handle mass shootings... Police are typically not the ones being shot at.

        October 29, 2013 at 8:44 am |
  31. Trent Mckee

    I think it's pretty stupid that this kid was walking around with a fake gun that he removed the orange safety tip from, but I also don't agree with the police force opening fire on him after verbal warnings. Why do policemen no longer fire warning shots anymore? A loud fireman would certainly get the attention of a kid or anyone who may initially take things as a funny joke.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • Eric

      Headline: "Officer fires warning shot and kills infant because there was no target to stop the warning shot"
      How do you respond to that news story? They should have shot the teenager with the gun???

      October 29, 2013 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • Sgt. D

      "Warning shots?", we don't fire warning shots because once you pull the trigger and that bullet leaves the barrel, you are responsible for where it lands. Whether it's a bad guy or innocent person, the bullet does not care. Law Enforcement trains to "stop the threat," , the uniformed officer pointing his duty weapon at you while ordering you to drop the gun!, well, that's you're warning. If you don't drop the weapon, you are the threat and all this transpires in a matter of seconds. It's a shame if the 13 year old had innocent intentions, but given the amount of teenagers deciding to go on video game type shooting sprees, there's no time to wait for the next slaughter. Bluntly put, if you are not intending any harm to anyone and you're told to DROP IT!!, then DROP IT! If you don't, you're considered a threat, period. There's no sugarcoating this, it's life and death. I've already survived being shot and it's not a pleasant experience.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:47 am | Reply
    • REALLY?

      I for one would pay to see you even attempt to go through even a controlled environment shoot, don't shoot training session. You would not live long as an officer with that strange perception of danger, and oblivious mindset. For the betterment of yourself, and the rest of us, please, pretty please take a deductive logic class.

      October 29, 2013 at 10:07 am | Reply
  32. Wolf

    The "toy" (likely an airsoft) looks remarkably like a real AK-47. Police are authorized to use deadly force on anyone displaying an aggressive threat posture while utilizing a weapon. Had the police officers done nothing and the child sprayed them and the surrounding area with a real gun, they'd be horribly negligent. When the nice officer draws his gun, do what he tells you. He feels you are a threat and will act accordingly. The public's job is to play nice and act non-threatening.
    Also, even if the weapon had had its orange tip, I'd still be cautious of it. Blaze orange paint is cheap.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:30 am | Reply
  33. bdby

    This was a senseless death. This “veteran” of the Iraq war had been around AK 47 rifles long enough to instantly recognize one that is “real” to one that is “fake”. Just compare the differences in how the barrels of each look. He didn’t even take the time to evaluate the situation. He shot within 10 seconds. He was just a trigger happy cop and some kid paid with his life.

    Just my opinion.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:29 am | Reply
    • Eric

      Really??? Do you know how many body armor piercing rounds can be fired out of an AK-47 in ten seconds???

      October 29, 2013 at 7:52 am | Reply
      • Concerned_Citizen

        40,... If it has the 40 round magazine. Some of these cop blamers are truly clueless. If the deputy was an expert with their sidearm they may be able to get 1/3 of that with any accuracy if their weapon has the capacity.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • John

      I agree, this fella did not follow and observe along with the intent moment to take action before he killed or maimed the kid. I feel he murdered him as a result of being in a real war zone and carrying that mentality back to our country, He was mentally ill to kill and should never have been given a job in police work due to being already a killer. He should get whatever is right under law just like anyone else that killed for no reason other than just thinking the kid was going to kill someone or him. Are they not trained to observe first and then protect themselves along with that observation until they are sure beyond a doubt? 10 seconds? Hell, what if the kid only knew his language and did not understand ours? No one has mentioned that. Maybe he was deaf? Who knows, but the cop that killed him knew what to do but failed and did what he wanted to do and that was to kill the kid. Bastard!

      October 29, 2013 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • RUKiddingMe

      Really? When you've had a real AK pointed at you and you had to kill or be killed... tell me how many times after that incident will you stop and ask the question, "Hey, Is that AK real?"

      October 29, 2013 at 8:11 am | Reply
    • Ciabatta

      You're officially an idiot.
      What do you mean the officer didn't have enough time to examine if the gun was real. If a teenage boy walked up to you with a pistol BB gun or an Airsoft pistol without the orange tip and told you to give up your money, you're telling me you would stop and examine the weapon first? I hope you get put in that situation in real life. Imbecile.

      October 29, 2013 at 8:23 am | Reply
    • TA

      You may want to look at the different AK Variants.......

      October 29, 2013 at 10:29 am | Reply
  34. Alfred

    My question is the same as in all these types of shootings: Why was a teenager out at such an hour on a school night? I mean you see it all the time. Kids out to all hours of the morning being shot usually by other teens or adults and sometimes police but there is never a in-depth story over why the parents let their kids out as such an hour.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:23 am | Reply
  35. John Doe

    That's his stupid fault. Enough of this nonsense. You are a teen you need to be playing with your BOOKS, OR TALENTS IF YOU HAVE ONE. NOT A STUPID GUN. HOW'S THE COP SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE RIFLE IS FAKE??????????

    October 29, 2013 at 7:18 am | Reply
  36. Christian

    Listen I dont know why these comments always have to go against the Police. Sure you used to be able to play with guns when you were younger but there is no way that they were as realistic as they are now. Sad to see that an 8 year old was killed but all he had to do was listen to their commands. Look at the picture above and tell me that if you were a police officer and someone was walking around with that you wouldnt be intimidated by a potential rifle that could pierce your kevlar vest and turn your crown vic into swiss cheese.

    October 29, 2013 at 7:16 am | Reply
  37. Greg

    It's tragic that a child can't play like I did growing up. I played cop and robbers, Army and cowboys and indians. I had toy guns and fake handgrenades. And we would play for hours. And never thought once about being shot dead by a policeman. How times have changed.

    October 29, 2013 at 6:49 am | Reply
    • Doug

      Yeah I hear you, but... we grew up around guns – but only real guns – guns are not toys, never had toy guns. Guns are serious business and will get you killed. Toy guns can get you killed just as easily. If it were your childhood 6-shooter in the same situation you'd likely be just as dead as this kid with the fake AK. I'd chalk this up to the parents were too stupid to teach appropriate appreciation and respect for firearms and provided a fake gun for the kid, and now they are likely to blame someone else for their idiocy.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:29 am | Reply
      • Lisa

        Amen! My husband and son both hunt and he's been taught from a very young age that guns are not toys nor has he ever had a toy gun or been allowed to play with toy guns. Too many kids walking around with parental disabilities and I don't think that companies should be allowed to produce toys that look so real. Common sense should prevail.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:11 am |
  38. ouflak

    There is something very strange about this case. Even if it is illegal to be walking down the road with a real rifle (a law recently put into place in 2012 in California), that should be ticket fine, and maybe having your gun impounded for yet another fee to get it back. Not the death penalty and certainly not an onsite penalty without arrest, trial, or conviction.

    And just because you have a gun, a badge, and a 'standard procedure' doesn't mean you're allowed to shoot and kill people. I'm fairly certain that that is still illegal even for the police.

    October 29, 2013 at 6:48 am | Reply
    • devils_advocate

      Obviously the officer didnt think that just because he had a gun and badge, that it gave him the right to go around killing whoever he pleases. Only a fool would think that. There will be an investigation and if he is found guilty, he should hang for it. But lets not forget that he is not some hot headed rookie. He is a 24 year member of the force and a veteran of the Iraq war. I am certain that if anyone can justify using deadly force, this man can. It is horrible that a young man was taken before his time, but I for one will not throw stones at a man who has dedicated his life to fighting crime and suppressing evil.

      And for all those out there who wish to wag their finger even though they live safe in their den of comfort, try walking a week on the beat, a mile in the shoes of these men and women who have sworn to protect and serve.

      October 29, 2013 at 7:23 am | Reply
      • BBruin

        Well said, and couldn't agree more. It's easy to voice opinions and point the finger but unless you're a 24-year member of a police force then it's tough to criticize this officer for his actions. As with any situation like this one there's an investigation... leave it up to the judicial / law enforcement systems to decide whether he acted prematurely.

        October 29, 2013 at 9:18 am |

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