Gelhaus told police he thought Lopez was carrying a real assault rifle when he ordered the boy to drop the gun, then opened fire. Lopez was carrying an airsoft BB gun that resembled an AK-47 rifle.
Word of the decision spread quickly shortly after Ravitch's office mistakenly sent out the press release announcing her decision. The Lopez family's attorney, Arnoldo Casillas, was soon inundated with phone calls from interested parties, including Lopez activists and media.
At about 12 p.m., Casillas said he received a personal phone call from Ravitch informing him of her decision.
"The family and my office are greatly disappointed with the decision," Casillas said. "If there was ever a case where charges were warranted, it was this one."
Casillas said the decision would allow the family's civil lawsuit against Gelhaus and the county to go forward.
Ravitch called her review of the police investigation into the shooting "exhaustive and thorough," resulting in reports that totaled more than 1,000 pages. She assigned a "management attorney" and an investigator with significant homicide experience to conduct her office's review and ensure any additional investigative steps took place. They consulted with numerous expert witnesses and "considered every interpretation of the facts and evidence in our analysis," Ravitch said in the statement.
Ravitch said her office will release a synopsis of the report, with redactions to "ensure individual privacy."
Addressing the public outcry over the length of the investigation, which took five months after the Santa Rosa Police Department handed its report to the district attorney, Ravitch said she is releasing the synopsis to address public concerns about transparency.
Ravitch described her investigation as a limited inquiry into criminal liability of the deputy. "Police tactics, training, and civil liability are not matters to be addressed by our office or this report," she said.
The Sonoma County Grand Jury will receive the district attorney's full report and all exhibits, as well as the Santa Rosa Police Department's investigative reports. A copy of the report will also be sent to U.S. Department of Justice representatives at the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office which are involved in a federal civil rights investigation.