Sonoma County Deputy Who Killed Boy Carrying Toy Gun Returns To Duty

SANTA ROSA (KCBS) — The Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a 13-year-old boy after mistaking the airsoft pellet gun he was carrying for an assault rifle, is returning to duty on Monday.

Deputy Erick Gelhaus will be on a desk assignment while Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravtich reviews an investigative report and determines whether or not he committed a crime, according to a department spokesman.

Gelhaus has been on leave since the Oct. 22 shooting of Andy Lopez.

Michael Rothenberg, a member of an Andy Lopez organizing group, claims that a large part of Sonoma County believes that Gelhaus is a murderer.

“Gelhaus ought to be held accountable for the murder of the boy,” he said.

“They want justice for Andy Lopez because they realize the degree to which police brutality has surged.”

Rothenberg said he believes the deputy’s return to duty will bring more protests to the streets of Santa Rosa,which has had many since the shooting.

Lopez’s family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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