California deputy who shot teen with BB gun returns to work

December 9, 2013

ToyGunThe Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a Santa Rosa teen carrying a BB gun in October will return to work this week. [NBC Bay Area]

Deputy Erick Gelhaus shot Andy Lopez, 13, seven times in a Santa Rosa field on October 22. Lopez was carrying a replica AK-47 BB gun at the time.

Gelhaus mistook the replica gun for a real AK-47, according to the deputy’s attorney.

Gelhaus has been on leave since the shooting, but he will report to desk duty this week.

An FBI investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and Lopez’s family has filed a civil rights lawsuit.

A protest at the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department is scheduled for Tuesday.

Since the shooting, a group of legislators has called for banning certain toy guns.


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I would like to share the following poem with anyone who has been on the receiving end of injustice. This poem is called “what would you do”

What would you do,with shattered dreams,

where justice is dead,or so it seems,

where violence patrols the streets,

and shoots you dead without just cause,

where injustice sometimes wears a badge,

and uses fear to justify,

the brutal scars it will inflict,

and never give a reason why

what would you do, when hypocrisy,

takes the life of an innocent child,

and those who claim to protect and serve,

pervert the truth with callous nerves,

when your family has been torn apart,

by devious men without a heart,

by those who claim to stand for truth,

but stomp on it with giant boots!

what would you do,when those we trust,

to protect and serve,could be so cold,

as to blame a child who’s been victimized,

to protect themselves from a chain of lies!


this poem is the property of Thomas Wilkerson

Justice is dead in America. Anytime you use alleged nonexistent fear to justify the murder of a 13-year-old boy is wrong. My whole family is no stranger to injustice. My brother Charlie has been seeking justice for 49 years and can’t seem to get it in the greatest nation on earth, and justice for all. In 1965 he was falsely accused of a sex crime that never occurred, he was never allowed the benefit of trial, he was deemed a “mentally disturbed sex offender” and sent to a Atascadero hospital for three years, and afterwards forced to register as a sex offender for nearly 30 years. Since 1998 he’s been arrested five times for failing to register, and every time the judge found out he was never convicted of a sex crime, the case was dismissed. Now he’s fighting another case right here in Sonoma County with this non-existent crime supposedly happened back in 1965. And all this stems from a lie that I told at the age of nine years old because a bunch of crooked cops were giving me gifts.

if that’s not enough injustice for one family, try this one on for size, 13 years ago in Lake County California my seven-year-old son Tyler James was tragically killed because he was a victim of two felony crimes that resulted in his death. To add insult to injury members of the California Highway Patrol concluded that he caused his own death and refused to take any action against the two individuals who committed these crimes against him that clearly caused his death. 13 years I’ve been seeking justice for a seven-year-old boy right here in America and can’t get justice, in the greatest nation on earth, and justice for all!

My heart goes out deeply for the Lopez family, but I can tell you from experience don’t plan on receiving justice because in my opinion justice is dead in America.

Sincerely, father seeking justice