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SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A 13-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun that resembled an assault rifle was fatally shot by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy when the youth turned the barrel in his direction, police said Wednesday.

ReplicaAssaultRifle2

The replica gun that Sonoma County officials say was carried by the boy who was shot and killed by deputies Tuesday. (Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office)

A single deputy fired at Andy Lopez, killing him on the sidewalk at the edge of an empty lot in Santa Rosa, Lt. Paul Henry of the Santa Rosa Police Department said during a news conference, according to the Press-Democrat.

“The deputy’s mind-set was that he was fearful that he was going to be shot,” Henry said.

Lopez, a Santa Rosa eighth-grader, was walking through a southwest Santa Rosa neighborhood carrying a pellet gun that resembled an AK-47 assault rifle when he was spotted about 3 p.m. Tuesday by two deputies on routine patrol, Henry said.

The teen had his back to the two deputies, said Henry, whose department is investigating the shooting.

They stopped, took cover behind the doors of their patrol car and ordered him to drop the weapon, Henry said.

Lopez was 20 to 30 feet away, he said, adding the deputies did not realize he was a boy.

The deputy, a law enforcement veteran, believed the AK-47-styled pellet gun “was an authentic weapon,” Henry said.

ReplicaAssaultRifle2

The replica gun that Sonoma County officials say was carried by the boy who was shot and killed by deputies Tuesday. (Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office)

SANTA ROSA, Calif. –  A 13-year-old boy carrying a replica assault rifle was shot and killed Tuesday by Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies in Santa Rosa, authorities and local media reported.

Two deputies spotted the boy near the intersection of Moorland and West Robles avenues at 3 p.m. Tuesday “with what appeared to be some type of rifle,” according to a news release from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputies ordered the teenager to drop the rifle “and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Read more at latimes.com

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