12 months ago
The Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy who killed a 13-year-old boy after mistaking his toy AK-47 for a real rifle was identified Monday as a firearms instructor, hunter and war veteran who in the past has warned other officers that they may need to use lethal force to survive an encounter.
Deputy Erick Gelhaus, 48, had broad experience with guns – even relative to others in his profession – before he fatally shot Andy Lopez Cruz last Tuesday just outside Santa Rosa, an incident that has prompted community outrage.
Gelhaus is a frequent contributor to law enforcement magazines and online forums in which he promotes officer safety. He served as an infantry squad leader in Iraq, according to his online profiles, and he describes himself as an avid hunter in North America as well as Africa.
He once accidentally shot himself in the leg in 1995 while on duty with the Sheriff’s Office – reportedly while holstering a gun. However, officials said he has not fired upon a suspect in 24 years with the agency, where he serves as a field training officer for new recruits and trains colleagues to shoot at the department’s gun range.
This is just too good. He is an expert on firearms – and he shot himself in the leg. So let’s cover some details on the shooting itself. Here is the one you really need to know.
Ethan Oliver, who lives across the street from where the shooting occurred, said he heard two gunshots, and while Lopez was on the ground the deputies “went at it again and unloaded like six to seven shots,” KTVU.com reported.
Like I said in the initial article. The blue wall will close in and you will never hear the story. Watch it happen, I said. It’s happening. The cop who did it is an “expert,” even though he shot himself. The cops who fired were under threat, or had to assume so. But they continued to shoot after the boy had gone down.
You’ll never hear the truth from the LEOs. But you’ll hear enough of it to assist you in developing an understanding of how LEOs see the world today. Be very careful and circumspect. Watch your six. The LEOs think they are in Iraq (and most of them only know what they saw on television). The LEOs think we are Sunni or Shi’ite insurgents. The LEOs think they are in the infantry. The LEOs will kill you. And the blue wall will close in to protect them.