California sheriff's deputy who shot teenager won’t face charges

California sheriff's deputy who shot teenager won’t face charges

The Northern California sheriff's deputy who shot and killed a teenager carrying a pellet gun he mistook for a real rifle will not face charges, prosecutors declared on Monday.

Announcing the decision at a news conference, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said Deputy Erick Gelhaus fired rounds at 13-year-old Andy Lopez in response to what he supposed was an imminent threat to his life. He added that Gelhaus faced a do-or-die dilemma while lawfully performing his duty.

The shooting of the boy last year triggered racial tensions in Santa Rosa, a Latinos are in majority. The two is situated nearly fifty miles north of San Francisco. Several protests were staged and the deputy was accused of acting too quickly.

The prosecutors' yesterday's decision was decried by the parents of the teenager. The parents said I was impossible for them to accept the decision, which made them feel as though their son had been killed again.

Reading a statement prepared by Lopez's parents, their lawyer Arnoldo Casillas said, "This disheartening decision leaves the family feeling as though Andy had been killed again today."

Gelhaus had 18 rounds in his department-issued 9 mm handgun, of which he fired eight rounds at the eighth-grader. Seven of the eight rounds struck the teenager who was declared dead at the scene.

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