- Posted December 11, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Reinstated after shooting
Sonoma County Deputy Erick Gelhaus returned to work in Santa Rosa on Monday, almost seven weeks after he shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez only to find that the gun Lopez carried was a toy. Community members adorned the site of Lopez’s death with memorial flowers and have demonstrated against the police department intermittently since the tragedy made international headlines.
Gelhaus’ return this week comes as the community seeks justice for Lopez’s death. The 24-year veteran of the force has also served time in Iraq and has worked as a police weapons instructor. Some critics have accused him of opening fire too quickly and have demanded a police oversight board in response to the incident.
The Sonoma Sherriff’s Department has maintained that he will remain at a desk job until the results of a criminal investigation are determined, but the events of the past few days have indicated that a sizable part of the population is seeking quicker answers.