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Hundreds pack Andy Lopez funeral Mass

  • Sujey Lopez clutches the coffin holding her 13-year-old son as her husband Rodrigo Lopez consoles her during Andy Lopez's funeral Mass on Tuesday at Resurrection Parish in Santa Rosa.

Hundreds of family members, friends, community leaders and neighbors gathered Tuesday for a funeral Mass at Resurrection Church in west Santa Rosa to mourn Andy Lopez, the boy shot and killed last week by a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy.

Those attending the service packed the church and many were left standing in aisles or crowding at several entrances.

Lupe Hernandez, who lives in Rincon Valley, said she doesn't know the family but heard about the funeral on the radio just before it started and raced to the church to attend.

Funeral Of Andy Lopez

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“This was really particularly important for me to be present and support the family,” she said following the Mass. “I have nephews and nieces that are young — I just can't imagine this tragedy happening to their family. It hurt me down to my core.”

On Oct. 22, Lopez was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy on Moorland Avenue in southwest Santa Rosa. The boy was carrying an airsoft BB gun designed to look like an AK-47 assault rifle, and police investigating the shooting said the deputy mistook the gun for a real weapon.

The shooting has sparked almost daily demonstrations, marches and vigils in Santa Rosa, with many decrying police brutality and accusing the deputy who shot Lopez of using excessive force.

A few hours before Tuesday's Mass, noon rallies were held at Old Courthouse Square and Santa Rosa Junior College. Both groups eventually joined up at SRJC and more than 1,000 people marched down Mendocino Avenue to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in the county administration complex.

Another march, planned for 5 p.m. Wednesday, will take protesters from the old Albertsons shopping center on Sebastopol Road to Old Courthouse Square.

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