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Police kill boy carrying pellet gun in California

Global Times (2013-10-25 P10)
By AFP – Reuters
A 13-year-old California boy carrying a replica of an assault rifle to a friend's house was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy who believed the gun was real, authorities said.

The child, identified as Andy Lopez and described in media reports as popular in his school, was walking down a street on Tuesday when sheriff's deputies saw him carrying what appeared to be a rifle.

They ordered him to drop it "and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times," according to a statement from the sheriff's office of Sonoma county.

"Once the scene was secured deputies learned that the rifle was a replica of an assault weapon."

Local media reported the victim was 13 years old. Police did not confirm this but hinted at his youth in a statement of condolence.

"As a father of two boys about this age, I can't begin to imagine the grief this family is going through," said the statement from Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas.

The shooting Tuesday has shocked the local community in the city of Santa Rosa, about  80 kilometers northwest of San Francisco.

The latest chapter in the epidemic of gun violence in the US came a day after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada opened fire at his school, killing a teacher, wounding two students and ultimately killed himself.

AFP - Reuters
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