<b>Gelhaus' mistake</b>

EDITOR: I don't believe Deputy Erick Gelhaus woke up one morning and decided to shoot someone. I believe the death of Andy Lopez was a mistake, but some mistakes you have to pay for.

Gelhaus' reaction to the situation shows that he had trained extensively to react to a threat with violence. We need law enforcement officers who make decisions on how to respond to a threat or conflict situation with a clear understanding of the possible outcomes. Reaching for a gun should be a heavy decision to weigh; shooting it should be a last resort. This puts officers at a greater risk, but part of their job is to make decisions that protect the community first.

The timeline of the event is key to understanding that Gelhaus failed in the responsibilities and obligations required of law enforcement professionals. Gelhaus has shown grave error in his ability to perform these demanding challenges, resulting in the death of an innocent child. He should be removed from law enforcement and convicted of a felony that prohibits his ownership of guns.

That should be the price he pays for his mistake.