The grassy field next to where 13-year-old Andy Lopez died hosted a potluck fundraiser Saturday afternoon to support the boy's family.
Dozens of residents who live near Moorland Avenue visited the site both to pay their respects to Lopez's parents and eat traditional holiday Mexican food, such as pozole and bu?elos.
There was also pizza and pasta for younger, more Americanized visitors.
"We're not selling food; we're just coming together as a community to mourn with the family," said Alma Yanez, who lives off Moorland Avenue, a few blocks north of where Lopez was shot.
On Oct. 22, Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy Erick Gelhaus shot and killed Lopez after he mistook the BB gun Lopez was carrying for a real assault rifle. Lopez was walking north on the west side of Moorland Avenue carrying the gun, which was designed to look like an AK-47, in his left hand.
Gelhaus and another deputy were driving on a routine patrol when they came up behind Lopez. Gelhaus told police investigators that he thought the weapon Andy was carrying was real.
He said he ordered the boy to drop the weapon and fired when the boy turned around because he feared for his life.
The site where Lopez died has become sacred ground for some local residents, who for nearly two weeks have held nightly vigils and rosaries. A 19-foot-long plywood shrine, painted white and decorated with lights and white sheets, was erected Friday.
On Saturday, the boy's parents, Rodrigo and Sujey Lopez, placed fresh roses and a white teddy bear at the shrine just before they sat down on metal folding chairs that were placed in the dry grassy field near where the food was being served.
A number of folding tables were set up by local residents for people to eat. The family declined interviews with the media.
Maria Ayon, a west Santa Rosa mom who attended the potluck with her family, said she has participated in every march and rally sparked by the shooting.
When asked why she was at the potluck, she replied simply, "I have five kids, one of them is almost Andy's age."
She said she only wanted to do her part to help the family.
Jose Casta?da, the owner of Casta?da's Marketplace in Windsor, said many local residents, particularly Latinos, are rallying around the Lopez family because they can see themselves suffering the same tragedy.
"This incident has made people more aware of policies that are used by law enforcement agencies," Casta?da said. "Something happened to the Hispanic community, and people are coming together to be acknowledged."
The family, which has decided to cremate the boy, has not decided when that will happen, according to a family spokesman.
Lopez's mother is expected to attend today a public meeting sponsored by the North Bay Organizing Project. At the meeting, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria is expected to donate an $8,000 check to a fund that's been set up by Graton Day Labor Center.
Lopez's mother is a member of the center's Domestic Workers Collective.
The public meeting, set for 4 p.m. at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, will also feature Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who will speaking about a House bill to overhaul immigration laws that he recently co-authored.