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Family, friends grieve for popular boy shot, killed by deputy

  • Sujey Lopez and her husband Rodrigo Lopez, bottom left, sit with their son Randy while praying at the site where their 13-year-old son Andy Lopez was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy near the corner of Moorland and West Robles avenues in Santa Rosa, October 23, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

The scene punctuated a day of grief, disbelief and anger in the working-class neighborhood in southwest Santa Rosa. By evening, those emotions spilled out onto Moorland Avenue, as hundreds of people marched in a candlelight vigil from the DMV office on Corby Avenue to the site where the boy was killed.

Young teens marched with portraits of the boy, chanting, "We want justice" and "Andy Lopez, Andy Lopez."

The march, which was sparked by a Facebook page, "Justice for Andy Lopez," brought out a number of parents who said they wanted to show their support for Andy's family. Many expressed the same worry — that the same thing could happen to their children.

"I don't know for sure that in the event of an emergency, would the police really help me or jeopardize the safety of my community," said Alma Flores, a mother of three who lives in east Santa Rosa.

"As a mother, it's very painful to imagine that something similar could happen to my 11-year-old son."

The call for "justice" began Wednesday morning, as more people learned that the person who was shot and killed was only 13 years old. Those who knew Andy, a handsome fun-loving boy, expressed disbelief.

Alejandro Cardenas, a Moorland Avenue resident, said he lived next to the Lopez family before they moved to their current home farther south on Moorland near Todd Road. Cardenas, a roofer, had just got off work and was bringing his kids home from school Tuesday when he found his neighborhood entangled in a web of police tape.

"We didn't even know (Andy) was lying out there," said Cardenas, speaking in Spanish.

Lopez's parents, who are originally from the northern Mexican state of Sonora, came to Sonoma County about 20 years ago. Aside from Andy, they have three other children, all of whom were born in the United States.

The family started out in Healdsburg but lived mostly in Santa Rosa.


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