EDITOR: On Oct. 22, Deputy Erick Gelhaus shot and killed Andy Lopez. Somehow the toy gun Andy was carrying has become the issue, but I question this logic.
I have lived in and driven on the streets of Santa Rosa since 1972. Not once have I seen a person — child or adult — carrying a weapon openly. Not once. If I had seen a child in broad daylight on Moorland Avenue, carrying something resembling an assault weapon, I assure you the idea that it might be real would have been way down the list — after squirt gun, pellet gun, BB gun, Halloween prop, etc.
To any reasonable mind it is illogical to suggest that, at 3:15 on a sunny school afternoon, the toy Andy was carrying was a real weapon.
Also, anyone with any training in heavy firearms knows there are specific ways to approach a person with an assault rifle, and jumping out of a patrol car isn't one of them. This would imply that the deputy didn't give Andy any chance because, once out of the car, the deputy imagined a kill-or-be-killed scenario even though it was, both logically and actually, a toy.