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Andy Lopez : Hero or Hood?

Updated on July 11, 2016

Andy Lopez : Hero or Hood?

On October 22, 2013 Andy Lopez, a 13 year old child, was shot and killed by Santa Rosa Sheriff Erick Gelhaus. Andy Lopez was brandishing a replica AK-47 when he was shot by Gelhaus on Moorland Avenue, Santa Rosa, Ca. Protests ensued for months after the shooting, people were outraged over the death of this 13 year old child. But, I want to answer the question, was Andy just another delinquent, or was he another martyr for the numerous cases of police brutality?

A Closer Look at Andy Lopez

Andy Lopez was born on June 2, 2000 into the rough Santa Rosa streets. His family was primarily composed of Norteno gang members. Andy borrowed the pellet rifle from a friend prior to the shooting. In addition to this Andy was expelled from his middle school and transferred to an opportunity school a week prior to the shooting. An autopsy revealed that Andy was under the influence of marijuana, marijuana was also found on his person after the shooting.

A Closer Look at Erick Gelhaus

Eric Gelhaus is a Sonoma County Sheriff. Gelhaus also was an Iraq War veteran and firearms instructor. Having served twenty years in the U.S. Army h e was very familiar with weapons. Prior to the shooting Gelhaus had never discharged his duty weapon in his 24 years of service as a sheriff.

The Shooting

Andy Lopez was told to drop his weapon before being shot, in response he turned around and pointed the weapon at Gelhaus. Gelhaus then responded by shooting Lopez. In addition to being told to drop his weapon by Gelhaus, Lopez was told by a fellow citizen to drop his weapon before the police arrived.


Whether or not Erick Gelhaus was right in shooting Andy Lopez we will never know for sure. I will leave you with one final question; was Andy Lopez as much of a saint as the media portrays him to be?


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    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 17 months ago from Corona, California.

      According to what I have read here, no, Andy Lopez was not a saint as portrayed by the "community" around him. As are not most of the so-called shooting victims in the other cases around the country. Greg.