The Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it will not file criminal charges against a sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez.
District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement that investigators concluded Deputy Erick Gelhaus “fired his weapon in response to what he honestly and reasonably believed was an imminent threat of death to himself or others.
“As such, he was lawfully acting in defense of himself or others, and no basis for seeking criminal charges exists,” Ravitch said in the statement.
The finding was revealed in an email announcing a 2 p.m. press conference at which Ravitch intended to explain her findings. Moments after the email was sent, staff with the District Attorney’s Office sent another email recalling the prior announcement, indicating they had not intended to report the result of the investigation until the press conference.
For five months, District Attorney investigators have been looking into whether Gelhaus broke the law when he shot Lopez seven times during an Oct. 22 encounter in southwest Santa Rosa.