SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) — Prosecutors say they will not file criminal charges against a Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed an unarmed 13-year-old boy.
Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced at a news conference Monday that investigators concluded Deputy Erick Gelhaus fired his weapon at Andy Lopez in response to what he honestly and reasonably believed was an imminent threat of death.
Gelhaus shot Lopez seven times on Oct. 22 as the teen walked in a Santa Rosa neighborhood with a pellet gun that resembled an automatic weapon. Gelhaus told investigators he believed the gun was real and opened fire out of fear for his life.
The shooting sparked numerous protests immediately afterward and again when Gelhaus returned to work in December. Protesters had called for criminal charges against the deputy.