Less than ten seconds had passed between the time Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus reported seeing 13 year old Andy Lopez with a toy gun, and the time he fired 8 shots into the junior high school student. The incident happened so fast, that the deputy he was training hadn’t even exited the vehicle before 7 of the 8 bullets had torn through the child’s body, killing him on the spot. They hadn’t even seen the boys face, before the last breaths he would ever take, coughed up the blood that his heart would soon cease to pump through his lifeless young body.
A witness says he heard Gelhaus yell “PUT THE GUN DOWN!” twice, but has not reported hearing the deputy identify himself. Gelhaus says he “can’t remember” if he identified himself before he ended the young boys life. It was the third death at the hands of police in the area, in less than 24 hours.
For all of you good people out there who aren’t familiar with liars and criminals, “I don’t remember” is how criminals avoid answering questions. Nobody can prove whether or not you remember something, so you can never be charged with perjury. The deputy would probably prefer to lie and say “Of course I identified myself”, but he knows there were witnesses, and his partner that day was a rookie, who he cannot trust to lie. Though a number of Sonoma County Sheriff’s vehicles are equipped with dash cams, Gelhaus’s vehicle was not, and so conveniently, there is no audio or video.
Jack Reacher: There are four types of people who join the military (Police / Law Enforcement). For some, it’s family trade. Others are patriots, eager to serve. Next you have those who just need a job. Than there’s the kind who want the legal means of killing other people.