We have seen their faces, heard their names, another senseless loss of life. Gone before their time and all for holding a “toy”. As you will see I use “s” when referring to these “toys”. What I’m talking about are air soft and BB guns/rifles. This is the story of 3:
1. October 2013; Andy Lopez, 13, of Santa Rosa CA was walking to a friend’s home and was carrying a look-a-like AR air soft “toy” and an air soft pistol “toy”. The pistol was tucked into his waist band and while this one had an orange tip, it was not visible due to being tucked into his waistband. The officers approached from a safe distance from behind and used their vehicle as a shield. They instructed Andy to put down the weapon but instead Andy turned toward the officers and, according to the officers, started to raise the “toy”. 8 shots rang out with 7 of them striking Andy. Most were non-fatal injuries except for the shot to the chest.
2. August 5, 2014; John Crawford III, 22, Fairfield, Ohio. John was out with a friend and was in a Wal-Mart store when he picked up a look-alike assault air rifle “toy” from one of the sporting good aisles of the store. The “toy” had been removed from the box by an unknown person and was not loaded. While he carried the “toy” around a Ronald Ritchie approached store management and then called 911 with a story, in fact it is filled with outright lies. He claimed that Crawford was waving the rifle around and pointing it at children and several times told the 911 dispatcher that he was loading ammunition into the rifle. You can listen to the 911 call and the store’s video which have been timed together.