13-Year-Old With Toy Rifle Shot and Killed by Deputies Near Santa Rosa (Update)

Police from Petaluma and Santa Rosa will be investigating the incident with the district attorney's office.

A photo of the toy rifle the boy was holding. Courtesy Sonoma County Sheriff's Department
A photo of the toy rifle the boy was holding. Courtesy Sonoma County Sheriff's Department

UPDATE: Police Say 13-Year-Old Was Turning Toward Deputies When Fatally Shot


By Bay City News - UPDATED

Sonoma County sheriff's deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who had a replica rifle on Wednesday afternoon.

A law enforcement source identified the victim as Andrew Lopez Roca. According to his Facebook page, he went by Andy. 

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. near the corner of West Robles and Moorland avenues, southwest of Santa Rosa.

Two deputies on patrol saw a male with a gun in that area and called for backup, sheriff's Lt. Dennis O'Leary said. The deputies ordered the male to drop the gun then fired several shots at him, O'Leary said.

The male then fell to the ground on top of the rifle, and the deputies ordered him to move away from the gun. When he did not move, the deputies went to handcuff him and realized he was unresponsive, O'Leary said.

The deputies secured the rifle and called for medical personnel, but Andy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies discovered that the rifle was a replica, and found that that the teen also had a plastic gun in his waistband, O'Leary said.

The deputies were placed on administrative leave while Santa Rosa and Petaluma police and the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office investigate the incident.

Wednesday morning, Andy's friends posted mournful messages on his Facebook page. "Bye Andy R.I.P." one friend wrote. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the age of the victim. Patch regrets the error.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Sign up for the free Petaluma Patch newsletter | Like Petaluma Patch on Facebook | Follow @PetalumaPatch on Twitter | Blog for Petaluma Patch

none of your business October 23, 2013 at 07:49 PM
I don't blame the cops. Stupid parents. Was it a gift? It looks pretty real in the picture. And don't forget we just had a pre-teen kill a teacher with the intent to do a lot more harm.
Richard Sievert October 23, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Our world is in trouble not because of guns no Its always been placeng value over life! Look around good people the world needs our help to rejuvinate itself or she will colapse.. We must plant things , and let life grow , breed animals to let go into the wild please look up!
Richard Sievert October 23, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Like the move I am a friend of what is most important and I do not think I want to let our world die! Yes guns are bad because people are made to be inherantly bad through contests , and manipulation!
William Harder October 23, 2013 at 08:30 PM
This is horrible. We as a nation should just get rid of all firearms. Including police and military. Let's get rid of nukes too. Get rid of toys as well, just to be safe. Let's just get rid of crops since they all cause cancer. We should all just sit together in a giant circle and sing! We should just smoke pot and be happy! Everything will be fine if there are no guns just in the USA. I am sure the rest of the world will just leave us alone. In fact as we sit in our giant circle , let's invite all the muslims to sit along side us. It's ok if they bring along their ak-47's. They won't hurt us since we have eliminated our weapons. La la la la, what a wonderful world. SARCASM!!! I had to put that in since you dimotwits would not be able to figure that out.
Cody Kitaura (Editor) October 23, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Hi everyone, we just posted a new story with some additional information here: http://petaluma.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/police-say-13yearold-was-turning-toward-deputies-when-fatally-shot
Bella October 23, 2013 at 08:51 PM
I would have shot his ass too. Coming at me with a gun. This kid knew exactly what he was doing, so no sympathy here. Don't tell me he was too immature to know what his actions would cause. Tired of these brats having excuses made. Act like a gang banger, die like one.
Jon Dewar October 23, 2013 at 09:07 PM
What is wrong with most of you! Your such hypocrites. Had this been a real gun and this kid used that 30 rounds of ammo to mow down group of elementary school kids the same people would be saying "I can't believe those lazy cops stood around and let this 13 year old shoot those poor kids". "Why didn't they shoot him before he had the chance to hurt anyone".
jerry October 23, 2013 at 09:15 PM
it's every day news they want you to get used to it when it becomes the norm
Connie Smith October 23, 2013 at 09:31 PM
Someone should go to prison for this...but sadly, they won't. We have to do more to protect ourselves as the US becomes more and more a police state.
Gerald B. Maurer October 23, 2013 at 09:41 PM
WHERE ARE THE PARENTS? 13 year old need supervision!!!
Bella October 23, 2013 at 09:59 PM
Right! Jon Dewar! This brat know what he was doing. I'd arrest the parents and thrown them in jail.
Richard June October 23, 2013 at 10:10 PM
The police call themselves Professional and this is supposed to be because of superior training? hys·te·ria noun \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\ : a state in which your emotions (such as fear) are so strong that you behave in an uncontrolled way
Bob Miller October 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I am a retired attorney and I am HORRIFIED by the police state we are becoming. My dad was a chief of police in PA and he would be appalled by whet'd going on in this country today. The shooting of innocent children and adults by police is rampant and it's only getting worse. I actually lived in Santo Rosa several years ago and this type of action really scares and bothers me. I live in southern CA and I recently had an interesting conversation woth a deputy from LA County and even he expressed alarm that today's police are becoming and have become paramilitary organizations. They don't look like cops; they look like mercernaries or SEALS. Part of this results from the millions and millions of dollars which became available to local police forces to purchase anti-terrorist weapons. Every citizen is now seen as a potential terrorist. Local police have forgotten WHY they are here and WHO they serve. I can't believe the insensitive remarks some have posted here. They would be the loudest screamers if it was THEIR child. We need to drop back and reevaluate where we want to go as a country. How many times do you read about a "search warrant" being served on the wrong people and someone getting killed? I'm seeing more and more 1930's Germany in this country. I AM TROUBLED! This is just one more chapter in "Welcome to AMERIKA."
Steve Crawford October 23, 2013 at 10:19 PM
As a youngster we played with toy pistols and I never heard of a police ever mistakenly anyone thinking our toy guns were real. Too many police officers today shoot and ask questions later. Even unarmed youth are being murdered by police officer, and mostly are non-white. Now after saying all that. Today NO TOY firearms should be replicated to look real. To many incompetent gun owners are not securing their firearms so that their children CANNOT access them. My son is 31 years of age and he does not know where my keys to the gun safe is located.
Mike M. October 23, 2013 at 10:38 PM
A replica gun is mad to look and feel just like a real gun. It just won't fire. Why didn't this kid drop the gun when he was told to? Did he point it at the officers? A few questions need to be answered before anyone starts blaming the police. If they just got out of the car and started shooting then they need to answer for it. But if the kid pointed the gun at them they did the only thing they could. Think about what you would do. Don't just bluster and spout off. THINK. Really.
Dorie McKay October 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM
I am definitely THINKING.. as this case is very troublesome and upsetting. Many things come to mind: Did this CHILD, freeze in fear when he saw the police? Did he have a language barrier? Did he live in a country prior where he saw violence and was traumatized by the policia in say, Mexico or elsewhere? Now about blaming his parents: DONT! Did they KNOW he had this toy gun that looked real? Did he borrow it from a friend? Was it his to begin with??? What were the circumstances of him out on the street with this realistic toy gun about to begin with? Didn't it occur possibly to the police to use some other means of detaining him? Tear gas?? Or more talking? Did this CHILD POINT this toy AT ANYONE indicating violence at anyone? Didn't they say he simply TURNED AROUND to the police ONLY and then he was SHOT? Did he raise his arms up and point it at THEM? There are many unanswered circumstances that will not be heard by us. But this will be tried and taken to court by the family of this I've no doubt for they lost their son, who didn't live to even enter high school. Many a 13 y o kid, does things behind their parents' backs... keep that in mind.. they're at an age, where they want to 'do things' that the parents may not approve of, keep in mind, their grief, their personal torment, their loss, and don't sicken me with 'BLAME' the parents, they are suffering ENOUGH. Much needs to be explored, examined and investigated before this thread in here gets too right or too far to the left in this particular case especially.
Eric Compton October 24, 2013 at 09:34 AM
Real, replica, or toy, DOES NOT MATTER. The problem here is a total lack of respect for the public, civil rights, and for firearms in general. NOBODY who thinks that the appearance or presence of a firearm constitutes a bid for offense or self defense has no business being in the business of law or law enforcement. This lack of respect is clear, first, nobody is going to "drop it" if it were a real firearm or a toy one if they have any respect for firearms. You certainly would not do so if someone shouted that from behind you without confirming there may be cause to do so (turning around for example) It has become my opinion that the populace should be openly armed, and officers such as the caliber we have seen in recent years should carry a nice shiny rape whistle until they learn some respect for the public and civil rights of the people. Respect. "Sir, can you set the weapon down and turn around please?" No respect. "Drop it" The first one could assume was a public official, the other could be any jack-nozzle. You would think that a trained officer of the law would have the stature, professionalism, and self respect to treat others with some degree of those three vital items. How about this fact people, the officer shot this child out of fear of the presence of a firearm (which was not a firearm at all) without provocation. That in itself denotes no just cause, but it also stands clear that the officer should not be an officer. Next step he'll be capping co workers because they had a firearm and turned around? Give these agressive self entitled morons nice permanent vacations. Some people are just NOT cut out for the job.
Debra C. October 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Oh Eric, I would love to see you in this situation! By the time the police could get out your "gently set down your weapon" sentence, they could be dead. An AK-47 is a very powerful weapon. Last week a 12 year old killed multiple people in Sparks, Nevada. No doubt, both of these facts were in the mind of these poor policemen who were put in this untenable situation. If I heard someone shout, "Police, drop the gun!" there is no question I'd drop it instantly - especially if it's a toy. Who else is yelling out, drop your gun?! So interesting that had the outcome been different (the gun was real and the kid turned around and started shooting), we'd be questioning how a 13 year old managed to shoot and kill 2 police officers and injure a 3rd, when the police clearly had the advantage on him. . . It's so easy to judge others when you haven't walked in their shoes! Of course the police "fear" guns. We murder 20,000 of our own citizens each and every year in this country - way more than any other nation (including Mexico). And so Police have to face down citizens with guns far too frequently. WE have CREATED this police state by allowing everyone to have guns in this country. The police have NO WAY of knowing if that person with the gun in his hand is about to use it or just playing around!!!
Tim Gega October 25, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Sandy Hook Elementary School is being demolished today. Evidently, many have either forgotten this tragedy, or they have used this to embolden their own NRA First Amendment Rights to “open carry” without responsibility to anyone but their own egos. The way they can justify their actions subsequently, when we live in a Society of ME-ME-ME is not working for ALL, but just to their own ignorance, where as we can now see hurts everyone, cost everyone and so far, has helped no one. It’s always easier to do Arm Chair Quarter Backing with 20-20 Hindsight in these tragedies but the fact remains that parents must teach their children to OBEY the Laws of Society. But, before they can teach, they must learn them themselves, which, as we can see (too much lately) that parents don’t want to learn how to effectively listen or talk to their children. They just wait until something bad happens where they then blame everyone else for their own negligence. With too many School Shootings these days, it appears that the insane are now running the asylum. (Numbers don’t lie). Put down your guns and pick up a dictionary, (Adults) we can’t procrastinate any longer.
Nanci Little October 25, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Cops are cowards and bullies, as proven but AGAIN by 'skeered' for their lives and not SEEING a child in front of them. AS they shoot many family Labradors because they wagged their tail, or walked towards them.. God forbid the dog barked... they are so stupid and 'skeered' they could not look at a child's face and make a judgement call to give him a second to understand what was happening? They all need to be off the streets and behind desks - not fit to carry a weapon - because this could have been YOUR boy child or mine!
ed a October 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM
i am amazed how little the public knows about its law enforcement agency and the training they go through.. @bob miller, it is a paramilitary organization and always has been. this was a unfortunate accident but at the end of the day, the deputies want to go home with all their body parts intact
Eric Compton November 03, 2013 at 12:42 PM
@ Debora C, Over the years, I have had to talk two different deputies down after they have pulled their weapons on me. "Its not time for that, put it away.." the first for having pulled over to answer my cellular telephone, the second for having dismissed the first (after having him holster his handgun and secure it) the second (supposedly) his supervisor after I informed the first that we were done interacting and that his aggressive actions made me uncomfortable and that I wished to speak with his supervisor. Who I had to talk down off of his stance as well. I was driving home from the store, and had not had so much as a parking ticket in over 20 years, never been arrested. These two backed down after I told them to wake up the elected official and we can then have a talk with the actual sheriff present. I have had to have similar interactions with a large number of officers over the years, either fondling their firearms during our interaction, or displaying contempt or aggressive posture in their actions. I have had many open with irrelevant questions designed to escalate a situation such as "have you ever been arrested or on parole?" for stopping me because he could not read the month sticker on my license plate when the year sticker did not expire until the next year, this one bumper rode me for about a mile and a half in traffic at highway speeds where I could not see the front of his car. Again, contempt and reckless endangerment. I have been chased off the 101 by officers racing to adels in healdsburg for their lunch where at 65mph myself puts their estimated speed at around 95-100mph, Again contempt of the public and disregard for public safety. I was even informed by two of these officers when I asked him about it "I am a good driver" another "That E on the plate is for Exempt". Apparently many of these officers believe themselves exempt of the law in enforcing the law? Debbie, you do not understand I have been in this position, unarmed and had an officer present a credible threat to myself and others. (not all officers are like this) I am comfortable with firearms have been my entire life, i was raised with them around and trained to handle them with respect, I was also taught to treat everyone with the same kind of respect, because the firearm will not kill you, the person handling it will. So Rule one RESPECT. Debbie the only reason I am not dead today by a fatal wound from one of these officers not suited to the job is because I saw the firearm drawn on me and was not already shot. they held just enough reservation that I could talk them down. Which is rare because once the firearm is out there is normally only one way the situation can go, it escalates. If you are worried for yourself that is good, because you should be. I will share one fact with you, If you see the firearm and are not yet shot, there is a 99% chance you will not be shot, provided you do not freak out from being drawn on. That is the hardest part to understand, when an officer draws his firearm early or without provocation he is escalating the situation beyond what is necessary. most people will not react calmly to this action which gets them shot. Though there is no way you can blame a person for reacting badly for staring down the barrel of a gun, it is pretty unnerving. These people are not to blame for the shooting, It is not the guns fault either, it's the loose nut on the trigger that is to blame.
Debra C. November 03, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Don't know what your point is Eric, except to show that police often pull out a gun and then don't use it. That is not a surprise. All that has nothing to do with this sad situation. This "toy" gun which looked identical to a real one is first to blame - they should not be made or sold! Andy walking down the street carrying it, very poor judgement on his part. Finally, his not dropping the gun when told to do so twice, clearly his second act of poor judgement. It was a horrible outcome of a very difficult situation. But the police risking that the gun was real and letting the person carrying it perhaps shoot it several times before they reacted could have been an even worse outcome - more people injured or killed.
Eric Compton November 04, 2013 at 06:15 AM
oh and Debra, and AK-47 is not a very powerful weapon, a .45ACP or a glock .40 has far more knock down and blood wound capability, as well, an AK on automatic has a tendency to hit nothing at all of an intended target unless the first shot is dead on, because the gun walks a lot, basically round #1 if it is on target is the only wounding shot as the spray lifts and draws off, by round 4 its an anti aircraft gun.
Lincoln Wong November 18, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Big bri your an idiot. I would like to see you stop someone holding a gun real or not. They work to protect people. Your better off without most cops? I hope something bad happens to you and that might make you appreciate people who respect and serve our communities
ed a November 22, 2013 at 02:53 PM
eric compton, learn your weapons. An AK 47 is far more dangerous, accurate and deadly than a handgun round. second this event took a total of 9 seconds from first seeing it until it was over
ed a November 22, 2013 at 02:54 PM
big bri, what an awful argument. what parent would let their child carry this toy and have a second one in his pants..come on get real
Big Bri's Mama January 16, 2014 at 06:32 PM
i would, ed
Big Bri's Mama January 16, 2014 at 06:45 PM
my lord! 13! thank jesus i kept you chained up those first 20 years.
ed a February 01, 2014 at 11:11 AM
well big bri good luck...i guess the twelve year old who shot up a school in reno is ok..or the 15 year old who just killed someone in santa rosa last night....yes i guess the deputy should wait to be fired upon to decide his actions..good luck living live with you head in the sand


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »