Sonoma County Sheriff's deputies fatally
shot a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a toy AK-47 on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. On Friday there
was a protest march in Santa Rosa attended by mostly teens.
In the wake of Andy Lopez Cruz's tragic death, we asked Patch readers on Facebook whether they allow their children to play with realistic-looking toy guns, and, if so, what precautions they take.
Some readers criticized police, while others called the death tragic for all involved. Many readers noted that toy guns usually have an identifying orange tip, which Lopez's lacked.
Here are some of the comments we gathered from the Walnut Creek and Lamorinda Patch Facebook pages.
Gareth Patterson wrote on Walnut Creek Patch Facebook, “Great questions. I grew up
in Ireland in the 70s and my cousins in Northern Ireland simply weren't allowed
to have toy guns. Just too many nervous (appropriately) soldiers and police
As a parent, I'm nervous of toys guns and can't recall my kids ever having any realistic guns. (Probably a childhood hangover for me!)”
Also on Walnut Creek Patch Facebook, Tracy Gimbel wrote, “It was not a FAKE gun. .it was a pellet gun...FAKE GUNS have orange strips and an orange plug at the end of the barrel. ..not a good outcome. ..but I side with the officer until further evidence shows that this gun could not fire...respect for firearms and gun safety classes could have possibly prevented this outcome”
Pamela Dunn, commenting on the Lamorinda Patch Facebook page wrote, “During my childhood I don't recall children or teenagers being shot for playing with toy guns, realistic looking or not. I sincerely hope the officers involved will be dismissed from the force.”
Do you agree with the comments? Tell us your opinion in the comments and take our poll that is open to all Bay Area Patch readers.