Deputy kills teenager holding a fake rifle

A California deputy shot a 13-year-old boy who he thought he saw a teen carrying an assault rifle. The assault rifle perceived by the deputy was later determined to be a fake rifle. The young boy was later identified as Andy Lopez Cruz.

When the deputy approached Cruz moments before the shooting, he and his partner yelled at the teen to put the weapon down. A statement said, the teen began turning around toward the officers, and he was “{T]urning the barrel of the assault rifle towards him. THe statement further said “[T]he deputy feared for his safety, the safety of his partner, and the safety of the community members in the area.”

An autopsy report recently release said the deputy fired eight rounds at the scene, and the teen died of bullets to the chest and right hip.

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A deputy shot the teen. The teen was handcuffed, and the officers called for an ambulance, the statement said. Deputies found the fake rifle on the ground near the boy. The bogus handgun was tucked in his waistband.

A witness, Ismael Mondragon, said he was in front of the deputy’s cruiser at a stop sign when he saw Cruz with the fake rifle. Mondragon says he warned the teens to put the fake weapons away because police where nearby. Mondragon says that seconds after he continued to drive he heart gun shots.

Cruz’s classmates and others were saddened by the news.