SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court says there is ample evidence for a jury to conclude that a North Bay teenager carrying a toy gun did not pose an immediate danger to a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed him.
A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday refused to find Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus exempt from liability for the 2013 shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa.
Ninth Circuit Judge Milan Smith said there was evidence to support a lower court’s determination that the barrel of Lopez’s toy gun may not have risen to a level that posed a threat to the deputy.
The ruling kept a lawsuit filed by Lopez’s family against Gelhaus and Sonoma County alive.
Messages for county officials and an attorney who represented them were not immediately returned.
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