Teen fatally shot by deputy remembered at community potluck

November 2, 2013 6:02:56 PM PDT
Friends and family of a 13-year-old Santa Rosa boy who died after being shot by a sheriff's deputy are gathering to say thank you to the community for its support.

Andy Lopez was shot Oct. 22 while holding an air-soft rifle that looked like an AK-47 assault rifle.

The neighborhood potluck got underway around 4 p.m. Saturday. We were told that everyone is invited and that it's a way for the Lopez family to say thank you to the community for their support during this difficult time. Donations for the family are also welcome.

In the meantime, the memorial for Andy is still growing as many continue to bring flowers and candles.

Lopez was killed by Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus, who believed the teen was carrying an assault rifle, which turned out to be an air-soft gun. Police say the deputy fired on the teen after he was ordered to drop the gun and did not.

Organizers of Saturday's event hope it's a chance for the community to heal.

"The potluck's free," family friend Debbie Spoko said. "You come and just be with the family and support them for the loss of Andy."

"I just wanted to show my support for the family and hope that some changes are made," Santa Rosa resident Rick Chan said.

The Lopez family attended the event. As soon as they arrived, they paid their respect to Andy's shrine, which has been set up along Moorland Avenue.

An investigation by Santa Rosa police, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, and the FBI is underway.

The attorney for the family of the teen will file a federal civil rights lawsuit in San Francisco Monday against Sonoma County and the sheriff's deputy. The suit will allege the deputy shot the teen without reasonable cause.


Load Comments