North Bay News
Witnesses recount deputy fatally shooting Santa Rosa teen
SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- We're learning more in the ongoing investigation of a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a 13-year old who was carrying a replica assault rifle.
The collection of candles and balloons honoring Andy Lopez continues to grow and people continue to show up to pay their respects. Maria Marquez and Juana Rojas have attended the memorial every day since the shooting because they want to tell the boy's parents what they saw when he was killed.
"Y nosotros nos venimos detras de la patrulla hasta aqui, el estop," Rojas said.
She says they were right behind the patrol car at a stop sign. Rojas saw the deputies turn on their police lights, then drive over to where the teenager was standing in an open lot.
Rojas and Marquez say they heard the deputies yell in english "drop the gun."
"Abrieron la puerta de cada lado y sacaron la pistola y tas, tas," Rojas said.
She says almost immediately, both deputies then opened their doors and shots were fired.
Rojas and Marquez say deputies only yelled once before opening fire.
"Imediatamente le dispararon, no le dieron oportunidad de nada," Marquez said.
She says they fired immediately and didn't give him a chance to do anything.
Early on in this investigation, police compared how similar Lopez's replica assault rifle looks to a real weapon.
They've also explained that the veteran deputy who opened fire believed Lopez was about to point the replica assault rifle at him.
But the description of events these women give is different than what investigators have described.
"Both deputies exited their vehicles, but maintained cover behind their opened doors. One of the deputies shouted at the subject to put the gun down," Santa Rosa Police Department spokesperson Paul Henry said.
These women say the deputies shouted first, then got out of their car and fired.
Another witness we talked to earlier this week describes the same.
"He pulled over to the kid walking side, and he just opened the door and shouted," Ismael Mondragon said.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office announced the FBI will conduct an independent investigation into the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
The sheriff's office released a statement saying, "The Sheriff will cooperate fully with the FBI and welcomes their participation. The Sheriff also wants to express his thankfulness to the community for how peaceful and respectful the memorials and protests have been in the aftermath of this incident. The Sheriff continues to express his sympathy to the Lopez family and the community."
On Friday hundreds of students marched to protest the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
Hundreds also attended a vigil Thursday night for the young teen for a second night in a row.
In recent memory no one can remember this much outrage in Santa Rosa. Children and teens participated in a march that ended at the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department on Friday.
A memorial service will be held for Lopez at the Resurrection Church in Windsor on Sunday.
santa rosa, shooting, sonoma county, guns, north bay news
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