Two new witnesses of the Andy Lopez shooting have come forward in recent days, and their reports conflict with the narrative of events given by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.
The witnesses, Maria Marquez and Juana Rojas, were standing at a stop sign next to a patrol car on the day the 13-year-old Lopez shot. The women saw the patrol car flash on its lights and drive over to the vacant lot where Lopez, holding a replica AK-47 pellet gun, was standing.
The women say officers shouted at Lopez from inside the car and told him to drop the gun. Less than 10 seconds later, officers got out of the car, crouched behind the car’s open doors, and fired shots at Lopez.
Marquez and Rojas have attended protests every day over the last week in order to spread the word on what they saw happen to Lopez.
The eyewitness account differs from the report from the Sonoma Sheriff’s Department, which says that officers exited their car and shouted multiple warnings at Lopez before opening fire.
“Both deputies exited their vehicles, but maintained cover behind their opened doors,” Santa Rosa Police Department spokesperson Paul Henry said. “One of the deputies shouted at the subject to put the gun down.”
The department announced today that the FBI will conduct an independent investigation into the shooting of Lopez. The sheriff’s office released a statement today saying they will comply fully with the investigation:
“The Sheriff will cooperate fully with the FBI and welcomes their participation. The Sheriff also wants to express his thankfulness to the community for how peaceful and respectful the memorials and protests have been in the aftermath of this incident. The Sheriff continues to express his sympathy to the Lopez family and the community.”
Last week, witness Ethan Oliver said officers continued to shoot Lopez after he dropped to the ground. An autopsy report released today seems to confirm Oliver’s claim. The report says Lopez’s body had seven entry wounds, at least two of them fatal.