Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon during an encounter in a southwest Santa Rosa neighborhood.
The boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez, identified the teen as Andy Lopez and said he had been carrying a toy gun that belonged to a friend.
It was unclear Tuesday whether the rifle, which sheriff's officials characterized as a replica, was capable of firing BBs or other projectiles.
Rodrigo Lopez said the last time he saw his son was Tuesday morning before he left for work.
“I told him what I tell him every day,” he said in Spanish, standing in the doorway of his mobile home near Moorland Avenue and Todd Road. “Behave yourself.”
The family had just returned home at about 9:15 p.m. from identifying Andy Lopez's body.
The boy's mother, Sujey Annel Cruz Cazarez, was grief-stricken in the living room.
“Why did they kill him? Why?” she said.
At 3 p.m., two sheriff's deputies patrolling in the area of Moorland and West Robles avenues observed Lopez walking with what sheriff's officials said appeared to be some type of rifle.
The deputies called for backup and repeatedly ordered the boy to drop the rifle, Sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said in a news release.
At some point after the deputies told Lopez to drop the rifle, they fired several rounds from their handguns at the boy, who was hit multiple times, O'Leary said.
After telling Lopez to move away from the rifle, deputies approached the unresponsive teen as he lay on the ground and handcuffed him before administering first aid and calling for medical assistance, O'Leary said.
Lopez was later pronounced dead at the scene. Neither deputy was injured, said Sheriff's Lt. Steve Brown. Sheriff's officials did not release the names of the deputies Tuesday, but said both had been placed on administrative leave.
After securing the scene, deputies discovered the rifle the teen was carrying was a replica of an assault weapon, O'Leary said. Deputies also found a plastic handgun in the teen's waistband.