<b>Rush to judgment</b>

EDITOR: I'm tired of all the bashing of Deputy Erick Gelhaus. People need to walk in a police officer's shoes before they make absurd comments.

I was a police officer in my youth in south Florida.

A police officer is trained by FBI standards. This means when an officer feels that he, his or her partner or the public is threatened, deadly force is warranted. By FBI rules, you shoot to kill, not wound or maim.

They have families also and want to come home, hug their kids and wife.

Andy Lopez had a BB gun that resembled an assault weapon. If you put them side by side, they look the same at a glance. Gelhaus had a split-second to make a decision. What would you expect him to do when the gun was pointed at him? Let someone shoot first? No.

I'm sure the deputy has lost many nights' sleep over this, but he acted in the only way he could under the circumstances.

Don't get me wrong. This was of the utmost tragedy, and I feel for Andy's parents and family. I can't imagine losing a child.

That said, let's not rush to judgment on a police officer trying to protect our streets.