Neighborhood struggles to make sense of Santa Rosa boy's shooting

  • A hole remains where investigators removed a bullet from a house near the location Andy Lopez, 13, was shot and killed by a Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
    (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

The added scrutiny has never been an issue for Sam Hin, whose mother lives in the neighborhood.

"A lot of people say this is not a great neighborhood, but we've never had any problems," said Hin, who works in human resources at a skilled nursing facility. "It's our home. It's what we're used to."

But Shannon Peavler, an in-home support provider whose mother lives on Moorland Avenue, said deputies "come into the neighborhood thinking it's a bad neighborhood, so they treat people that way."

She described a previous incident in which she said a sheriff's deputy pulled a gun and Taser on her mother following a traffic stop outside her home.

"I'm not afraid of gang members or bad people," Peavler said. "I'm scared of the sheriffs."

Signs at the memorial that grows by the day for the teen at the field where he was slain included one that read: "Wanted for Murder. Sonoma County Sheriff."

The field is a half-mile north of Lopez's home. He was walking to a friend's house when deputies encountered him.

At the Berry's Market at Moorland Avenue and Todd Road, where the teen used to buy candy for his little sister, manager Mary Sega said reaction from customers has been split between anger and despair.

"Some people are very angry that a child was killed by police, saying they (law enforcement) should know what they see. The other half are devastated for the parents and the deputy for what happened," she said.

Sega stopped by the family home Thursday afternoon, delivering a platter of food from the store and visiting with the boy's mother.

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