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Sheriff vows thorough, transparent investigation into fatal shooting

  • Windsor Police Chief Steve Freitas becomes Sonoma County's next sheriff after winning an uncontested election in June.

One day after a deputy shot and killed a 13-year-old boy holding a BB gun that resembled an AK-47 assault rifle, Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas vowed that the investigation into the fatal encounter would be thorough and transparent.

Freitas, who has two sons around the same age as the boy who was killed, said he "can't begin to imagine the grief" of Andy Lopez's family. Freitas said the fatal shooting was also devastating to the two deputies involved in the incident, as well as personnel throughout the Sheriff's Office.

"It is pretty somber around here today," said Freitas, seated in his office Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday's shooting prompted simultaneous investigations. The Santa Rosa Police Department is leading an external investigation, aided by Petaluma police, that will be reviewed by the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office.

The Sheriff's Office also launched an internal investigation on Tuesday night when the two deputies involved in the incident were debriefed, both to determine their mental health and to start the internal review process.


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