A worrisome week with kids and weapons

(CBS News) LOS ANGELES - This week, two young students were accused of killing their teachers in Nevada and Massachusetts. And a third was killed by police in California who thought he had weapon -- the FBI is looking into that death. Some experts are wondering if this week's headlines played a role.

Thirteen-year old Andy Lopez was carrying a toy AK-47 when he was killed by sheriff's deputies last Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California. He was shot seven times.

Thirteen-year old Andy Lopez was carrying a toy AK-47 when he was killed by sheriff's deputies last Tuesday in Santa Rosa, California. He was shot seven times.
CBS News

"They need to stop shooting like that, you know?" said Lopez's father, Rodrigo. "Especially at 3:30 p.m. They can see."

At a news conference, investigators displayed the toy rifle compared with a real AK-47. Santa Rosa Police Lt. Paul Henry said the boy ignored a directive to drop the gun.

"A witness in the area reported that he heard the deputy shout two times, 'Put the gun down,'" said Henry.

The shooting happened on the same day a 14-year-old Massachusetts boy was accused of stabbing his math teacher to death -- and one day after a 12-year-old boy opened fire at Sparks Middle School in Nevada, killing a teacher and wounding two students.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Craig Geis, who trains police officers, said the attack in Nevada may have put authorities on edge.

"I think maybe if the Sparks shooting hadn't occurred," he said, "maybe the officers driving around wouldn't have even seen an individual walking with what appeared to be a weapon."

Many in the small community call it a needless tragedy. Gabriel Roque, a friend of Lopez, said: "He's no harm to anybody. It's not a grown man walking down the street with a gun. It's a 13-year-old boy."

The only thing that links these three cases is the age of the young boys involved and the extraordinary loss.

  • Carter Evans

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