SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of a popular 13-year-old boy by a sheriff's deputy in Northern California.
Sheriff Steve Freitas said he will cooperate fully with federal investigators and welcomes their participation in the probe of Andy Lopez's killing Tuesday afternoon. The shooting has generated numerous protests and marches in the suburban town of Santa Rosa, with many residents questioning the deputy's decision to fire on the youth.
In a statement Friday afternoon, Freitas expressed sympathy to the Lopez family.
Records show it took 10 seconds for a 24-year veteran of a sheriff's department to decide to open fire and kill an eighth-grade boy carrying a harmless but spot-on replica of an AK-47 assault rifle.
The timeline of the incident was released by authorities on Thursday as outrage mounted in the blue-collar Santa Rosa neighborhood where the boy was shot. Bisected by Highway 101, the once-sleepy hamlet has become a city of 170,000 people with a growing gang problem where residents are demanding to know if the Tuesday shooting was justified. Police are also continuing its investigation.