A California deputy who shot dead a 13-year old boy holding a toy gun will not be charged with any crime, it has been announced.
As ENTmania! reported last year, Andy Lopez was shot dead by deputy Eric Gelhaus after the latter thought that the airsoft BB toy rifle he was holding was a real AK-47 gun. His death triggered widespread protests in Sonoma County, with many calling for the cop to be charged with murder.
Now according to District Attorney Jill Ravitch, Lopez’ death was ‘absolutely a tragedy’, but ‘not a criminal act’ because Gelhaus ‘honestly and reasonably believed’ that they boy ‘was an imminent threat of death to himself or others.’
Police also said the orange tip that distinguishes a fake gun from a real one had been removed from Lopez’ toy gun, and that he may have smoked weed an hour before he was killed.
Protesters are not happy with the D.A’s decision.
‘He was a kid, he was shot because he was kid carrying a toy gun where kids play. That is an injustice that cannot be permitted,’ said Jonathan Melrod of the Justice for Andy Lopez. ‘This is like killing him again,’ added Nicole Guerra of Andy’s Youth.
Video of the D.A’s announcement can be watched below.