FBI to investigate police killing of boy

The FBI has launched an independent investigation into a deputy sheriff’s killing of a 13-year-old boy while he was walking to a friend’s house this week to return a replica of an assault rifle, a spokesman said Saturday.

Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas announced on Friday night that the FBI will conduct an inquiry into the shooting death of Andy Lopez Cruz in Santa Rosa, a community in northern California’s wine country.

Hundreds of protesters, many of them Latino teenagers, have demonstrated daily, calling for an investigation into the Tuesday afternoon incident in a blue-
collar neighborhood of Santa Rosa.

The deputy, a 24-year veteran of the force, saw Andy carrying what he believed was a real rifle, feared for his life and fired eight shots at the hoodie-clad boy as he walked along a vacant lot about a block from his family’s mobile home, authorities said.

Police said the boy had his back to the deputy and a deputy trainee, both of whom commanded him to drop the gun as they crouched behind the door of their patrol car.

When Andy turned toward them with the gun still in his hand, the veteran deputy began firing from a distance of 20 to 30 feet, officials said. Seven bullets struck Andy; two of the rounds were fatal.

— Reuters

New York to create first gas reserve: Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York is creating the nation’s first state gasoline reserve to prevent shortages during emergencies. Cuomo said Saturday that a pilot program on Long Island will hold 3 million gallons of fuel for motorists and first responders. The project is a response to the gas shortages that created hours-long lines in the days after superstorm Sandy. The deal requires formal contract approval.

Study: Zoo elephants are getting fat: This fall, zoo researchers from across the country are wrapping up the biggest study of zoo elephant health in the nation’s history. Researchers hope to submit the study to scientific journals for publication as soon as this winter. But even preliminary findings, they said, are revealing. Nearly three-quarters of the elephants scored a 4 or 5 — squarely overweight. Moreover, the study found a correlation between healthy hindquarters and — unsurprisingly — more exercise and smaller, more frequent meals. Researchers point out that those hefty hineys can lead to, for instance, a decline in female reproductivity — something zoos monitor quite closely.

Dog starts fire in Washington apartment: Fire officials say a black Labrador reaching for treats left on a stove top turned on a stove and started a fire causing smoke damage to an apartment in the central Washington city of Wenatchee. Fire Marshal Mark Yaple told KPQ radio the residents were not at home when fire crews arrived. He says emergency crews were able to revive the dog with mouth-to-snout resuscitation. Damage was estimated at $10,000.

— From news services