A few weeks ago, a 13 year-old was killed by two police officers, who shot him 7 times within 26 seconds. The police were dispatched to the area after a report of a suspicious person in the North California town of Santa Rosa. The kid, Andy Lopez, had his back to the police when they arrive. According to police reports and eye witnesses, Lopez was carrying around a toy gun which looked a lot like an actual AK-47.
The toy gun (right) in comparison to an actual AK-47 (left).
After he was yelled at by the two police officers to drop his weapon, but did not comply and rather turned around to face the police. At this moment, they opened fire a total of 8 times with 7 bullets hitting his body, 2 of which were labeled as fatal.
Did the police do what was necessary or did they act out of line? Both cases can be made. The gun clearly looked like an actual weapon, especially from a far. Some will argue that they should have assured that it was a real gun before firing, but that could have easily put them and innocent civilians in danger had it been a real gun. With all the recent shootings in the news, some even being perpetrated by teenagers or young adults, they had every right to assume that the weapon was real. I do not condone the actions of the police officers; the death of this young boy was unnecessary and a shame. But one must be able to see why the police open fired in the first place, and that there was reasonable suspicion that it was a real weapon that could have potentially killed the officers and any bystanders.
- Boy Killed By Police For Carrying Fake Rifle (sfgate.com)
- Realistic toy guns worry local police (napavalleyregister.com)
- US police shoot dead 13-year-old boy who was carrying ‘lifelike’ toy gun – euronews (euronews.com)
- FBI probes California deputy’s killing of boy with toy gun (news.yahoo.com)
- Teen With Pellet Gun Shot By Police 7 Times (webpronews.com)
- California | Police shoot 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy carrying fake gun (thejournalist.ie)