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Family, friends grieve for popular boy shot, killed by deputy

  • Sujey Lopez and her husband, Rodrigo Lopez, bottom left, sit with their son Randy while praying Wednesday night at the site where their 13-year-old son Andy Lopez was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy. (Conner Jay / PD)

Neighborhood kids were just coming home from school Wednesday afternoon when Rodrigo and Sujey Lopez arrived at Moorland and West Robles avenues and slowly walked to the sidewalk where, 24 hours earlier, their 13-year-old son was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy.

Photos of their son, Andy Lopez, were placed next to bunches of flowers, stuffed animals and balloons. Two crosses formed with glass candles marked the spot where Lopez was brought down by gunfire.

Sujey Lopez dropped to her knees and covered her face in a flood of tears and inconsolable crying. Weakened by hours of grief, the sobbing mother plucked at white roses and held a stuffed animal close to her chest.

Santa Rosa Teen Andy Lopez Mourned

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“Andy ... Andy,” she said, repeating his name over and over. “Andy, mi niño. Mi niño, por favor.”

The scene punctuated a day of grief, disbelief and anger in the working-class neighborhood in southwest Santa Rosa. By evening, those emotions spilled out onto Moorland Avenue, as hundreds of people marched in a candlelight vigil from the DMV office on Corby Avenue to the site where the boy was killed.

Young teens marched with portraits of the boy, chanting, “We want justice” and “Andy Lopez, Andy Lopez.”

The march, which was sparked by a Facebook page, “Justice for Andy Lopez,” brought out a number of parents who said they wanted to show their support for Andy's family. Many expressed the same worry — that the same thing could happen to their children.

“I don't know for sure that in the event of an emergency, would the police really help me or jeopardize the safety of my community,” said Alma Flores, a mother of three who lives in east Santa Rosa.

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