Boy, 13, With Replica Gun Shot Dead by Deputies
Santa Rosa teen was walking with fake AK-47
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 23, 2013 12:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 13-year-old boy in Santa Rosa, California, is dead after deputies mistook the replica assault rifle he was carrying for the real thing, reports the AP. Two deputies encountered Andy Lopez walking yesterday afternoon with what looked like an AK-47, reports the local Press Democrat. Police say they repeatedly ordered the youth to drop the weapon and opened fire when he didn't do so. It was only after the teen was fatally shot that deputies learned the assault rifle was a replica, as was the plastic handgun in his waistband. The shooting is under investigation.

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Jul 9, 2014 8:01 PM CDT
Let me get this straight - Cops will react with lethal force in 10 seconds, yet in an open carry state, everyday people are supposed to be fine and comfortable and just carry on while people walk around with real assault rifles inside of KFC. Hmm, I better write that down.
Jarrod Whitley
Oct 26, 2013 12:10 PM CDT
Kid should have dropped the gun. What else are the police supposed to do?
Oct 25, 2013 5:06 PM CDT
Here's the kicker, Mr. O'Neill, and all of you others out there. I used to play with toy guns all the time, and when I "grew up" a bit, my interests began to include both live firearms and replica airsoft guns, WILDLY popular and widely used in sanctioned paintball-style tournament and reenactment events as a safe, ecologically friendly alternative to blank-firing weapons. One day on a trip to go shoot clay pigeons and do some target shooting, I realized that I had brought along one of my airsoft rifles instead of my live steel AKM. And I hadn't even noticed the difference until I tried to insert a magazine of 7.62x39 into this "toy" gun, because this airsoft gun of mine has a laminated wood stock, stamped steel receiver, and a special magnifying scope that was taken off of a real rifle. It occurred to me that the night before, in between rounds of billiards in the basement, when I was demonstrating the similarity between the real thing and the replica, both of the guns had gotten placed back inside my firearm safe. Airsoft guns are just like baseball bats, paintball guns, golf clubs, pitching machines, or any other sporting equipment, in that regard. If they are used safely, in a LEGAL location, under parental or at least some adult supervision (in a place like a special airsoft or paintball field during a sanctioned event. There is never a good reason to have these things out on public property, NEVER. Especially without a parent watching or even actively participating. The biggest tragedy here is that this young man wasn't taught to respect firearms, and thus, learned that he could treat an object that *looks* like it could kill a man 30 times over at 100 yards away, like a toy, because it was probably sold at Wal Mart. If reasonable regulation preventing underaged individuals from using airsoft guns in *stupid* places cannot be enacted, then this will be one of hundreds more to come, and inevitably, individuals will not blame improper regulation and common sense, but instead, they will blame airsoft guns. AIrsoft guns are *not* a toy, they are specialized sporting equipment. Misusing them can have tragic consequences. It's a terrible shame that this poor boy and his family had to learn this the hard way. I dearly wish things had gone differently. BUt if they had, then the gun nuts would be saying, "This kid got in trouble for playing with a toy gun, THEY'RE TAKING OUR RIGHTS AWAY". ANd what if, just what if, it was a real AK47? We had another school shooting not long ago that's fresh in everyone's mind. All three of these are equally likely to happen on any given day. No more airsoft sales to minors! Get rid of Wal-Mart BB guns! It will do a service to the airsoft community, as well as to those who wish no part of the airsoft community.