SAN FRANCISCO — The F.B.I. is investigating the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by a sheriff’s deputy in Northern California.
Sheriff Steve Freitas of Sonoma County said in a statement Friday afternoon that he would cooperate fully with federal investigators and that he welcomed their participation. The shooting of the boy, Andy Lopez, in Santa Rosa on Tuesday has generated numerous protests and marches, with many residents questioning the deputy’s decision to fire on the boy.
Sheriff Freitas also expressed sympathy to the Lopez family and thanked the community for keeping protests peaceful.
The police say the teenager was carrying a pellet gun that looked like an AK-47 assault rifle.
An F.B.I. spokesman, Paul Lee, said he did not know why his agency had decided to get involved or whether the local authorities had requested its help.
The Santa Rosa Police Department said two sheriff’s deputies in a squad car encountered the boy, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, around 3:15 p.m. on Tuesday. Witnesses say that at least one of the deputies took cover behind an open front door of the cruiser and that one yelled “drop the gun” twice.
Ten seconds after their initial report to dispatch, one of the officers called in that “shots have been fired.”