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Students take to streets in protest of Santa Rosa boy's fatal shooting


But friends of Lopez who marched for hours through downtown Santa Rosa shouting "No justice, no peace!" said a veteran officer should have recognized that the object in Lopez's left hand was a BB gun.

"He should have known. He is a sheriff. He should have known that it was a fake," Carmona said.

Friday's march began around 10a.m. and stretched from points on Sebastopol Road to City Hall, where people rallied and encouraged passers-by to honk. Just before noon, the crowd headed north on Mendocino Avenue toward the Sheriff's Office on Ventura Avenue.

"We are here to support the family and to show Andy we are going to get justice for him," said Maria Arreguin, an Elsie Allen ninth-grader who had known Lopez since the second grade at Bellevue Elementary School.

She said the deputies responsible "deserve to get fired and be in jail."

The deputy who shot Lopez is a 24-year veteran of the force who works as a training officer. His partner on Tuesday had been hired recently by the Sheriff's Office and had 11years experience in law enforcement. He did not fire his weapon.

Sheriff's and police officials have not released the name of either deputy, citing fear for their safety.

Luis Diaz, the 13-year-old boy to whose home Lopez was headed when he was killed, wore a white hooded sweatshirt with a photo of his friend on the front.

"What if that happened to their kids?" he said of the deputies.

"A lot of people are angry about this. It's a friend. I feel it, too. We have a lot of emotion now," said Elsie Allen freshman Yaritza Ramirez as she walked down Sebastopol Road carrying a sign saying Lopez would always be in her heart.

Elsie Allen senior Evin Mojica didn't know Lopez and hadn't participated in the nightly vigils that have taken place in the empty lot where the boy was killed.

But Friday's march, largely organized and led by students, inspired him to walk out of class and hit the streets for more than four hours.

"We are supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave, but obviously we are not when we kill innocent children," he said. "What kind of 'brave' man shoots a child?"

Santa Rosa City Schools Superintendent Socorro Shiels sent out an automated phone message to some households in the district acknowledging that many events have been planned in the wake of Lopez's death and asking parents to issue written permission if their child attends an event during the school day.

"We want to be sensitive to the nature of this incident and be your partners in keeping your child safe," the message said.

The district provided a number of school buses to transport marchers Friday, and a handful of middle school, high school and district administrators observed the protest throughout the day.

When asked after the demonstration about the district's policy regarding the protest and the supplied buses, Shiels said she was not prepared to comment.

The largely peaceful march and demonstration did have some moments of tension. As a group of students neared City Hall, several boys leading the march got into a shouting match with a man urging them to be peaceful. They screamed obscenities at him from across BStreet and threatened to kill him. Others cursed the police.

When employees were alerted that hundreds of protesters were heading to the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Ventura Avenue, some moved their automobiles from the parking lot. Others quickly dismantled pylons and caution tape that surrounded recently constructed entrance features.

Protesters almost immediately inscribed an area of freshly poured cement with Lopez's name and "R.I.P."

The crowd gathered and chanted at the massive, tinted wall of glass that fronts the Sheriff's Office, where a piece of paper affixed to the door read: "Closed until further notice. If you need assistance dial 911."

At 1 p.m. a portion of the crowd surged at the doors, some banging briefly on the glass. A number of plastic water bottles were thrown at the door before a handful of people urged the crowd to move about 10 feet back from the building's front doors.

"We don't want nobody hurt. There are a lot of children here," Michael Fuentes of Rohnert Park said after he urged protesters to remain peaceful. "There's a right way and a wrong way to send a message. I think saying 'F the police' is going to get a negative consequence, not just for themselves but everybody else."

"We are here for Andy Lopez, not ourselves," he said.

The boy's father, Rodrigo Lopez, declined to comment Friday, but Ivan Trejo, an attorney representing the family said funeral services are planned for Sunday. A viewing of Lopez's body is planned for Monday at noon at Resurrection Church in west Santa Rosa.

Trejo, who said attorney Arnoldo Casillas is taking the lead on the family's legal direction, said a forensics expert affiliated with the family is expected to view the body Saturday.

On Friday evening, the Lopez family gathered with Moorland Avenue neighbors at the site of the shooting and read the rosary for a third straight night.

Staff writers Clark Mason and Martin Espinoza contributed to this story. Staff Writer Kerry Benefield writes an education blog at extracredit.blogs.pressdemocrat.com. She can be reached at 526-8671, kerry.benefield@press democrat.com or on Twitter @benefield.