NEW INVESTIGATION: FBI to probe shooting death of teen with fake gun

SAN FRANCISCO –  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 in a statement Friday afternoon that he will cooperate fully with federal investigators and welcomes their participation in the probe of Andy Lopez’s killing on 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.

Freitas also expressed sympathy to the Lopez family and thanked the Santa Rosa community for keeping protests peaceful.

Police say Lopez was carrying a pellet gun that looked like an AK-47 assault rifle.

A timeline released Thursday by the Santa Rosa police shows that only 10 seconds passed from the moment that the sheriff’s deputy and his partner called dispatch to report a suspicious person to the moment they called back to say shots had been fired.

FBI spokesman Paul Lee said he did not know why his agency decided to get involved or whether local authorities had requested its help.

More than 100 angry middle and high school students walked to City Hall on Friday, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. Hundreds of people protested earlier in the week.

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