Santa Rosa Holds Vigil For Andy Lopez, Teen Killed In 2013

Jeffrey Schaub
June 03, 2020 - 2:19 pm
Santa Rosa Vigil for Andy Lopez, who was killed at 13-years-old by Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy in 2013, on June 2, 2020

Mike DeWald / KCBS Radio

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Santa Rosa police are braced for a third night of protests across the city on Tuesday, and at the same time, held a vigil to honor Andy Lopez, a 13-year old gunned down by a Sonoma County Sheriffs deputy in 2013.

Andy Lopez would have been 20-years-old on June 2, 2020.  

Santa Rosa Vigil for Andy Lopez, who was killed at 13-years-old by Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy in 2013, on June 2, 2020
Mike DeWald / KCBS Radio

Javier Cardenas, Lopez’s friend, remembered the day Lopez was gunned down by a sheriff’s deputy. Lopez had been holding an air-soft BB gun designed to look like an assault weapon.

“It sucks because he’s my friend, and I just turned 21,” he told KCBS Radio. “It sucks to see he couldn’t make it to 20.”

Cardenas added that the current protests against the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police reminds him of Lopez’s death.

“Just another victim from a cop,” he said.

The Sonoma County Community and Law Enforcement task force was formed after Lopez’s death. Caroline Bañuelos, who serves on the Sonoma County Community and Law Enforcement Task Force, told KCBS Radio the Lopez killing racked the community with weeks of protests.

"In Santa Rosa, it really changed the community,” she said.

Santa Rosa Vigil for Andy Lopez, who was killed at 13-years-old by Sonoma County Sheriff Deputy in 2013, on June 2, 2020
Mike DeWald / KCBS Radio

Bañuelos spoke with KCBS Radio’s Jeffrey Schaub at a park dedicated to Andy Lopez.

“It’s quite a coincidence that Andy would have been 20-years-old today, and the significance is nothing has changed,” she said.

The then-deputy, Erick Gelhaus, who shot Lopez has since been promoted.