TODAY   |  October 27, 2013

FBI investigates case of teen shot holding toy gun

Outrage is building in Santa Rosa, Calif., where a 13-year-old boy carrying a toy gun was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports.

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>>> in santa rosa , california, promises of daily protests until a community gets answers in the death of a 13-year-old boy shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy earlier this week. joe fryer is in los angeles with more on that story. good morning.

>> good morning, erica. officers say they thought the teen was carrying a real gun. after shooting him they learned it was a toy replica. now the fbi is investigating how it all happened.

>> for days now friends and relatives have hit the streets of santa rosa , california, protesting the shooting death of 13-year-old andy lopez .

>> there's no justice that can compare to a little boy dieing.

>> reporter: classmates walked out of school this week and marched to the sonoma county sheriff's department where some scrawled angry messages in wet cement .

>> he wanted to go to college and have a career. he wanted to do something more and better with his life.

>> reporter: it was tuesday afternoon when investigators say two sheriff's deputies spotted lopez walking around with what they thought was an assault rifle . an eyeness spoke to lopez just moments earlier.

>> i saw the boy with the rifle in the left hand, and i'm telling him throw that thing away because the police is behind.

>> reporter: investigators say the deputies shouted at lopez to drop the gun. within ten seconds of reporting the incident to dispatch one officer opened fire.

>> one of the deputies described it as the subject was turning toward him, the barrel of the rifle was rising up and pointed in his direction.

>> reporter: lopez was shot seven times. only after did they realize the gun was a replica. in a news conference police held a fake gun next to a real one to show similarities. the sheriff is promising a transparent investigation.

>> none of us on any level wants tragedies like this to happen. we're very sorry about this incident.

>> reporter: lopez 's parents are arguing that the shooting isn't justified.

>> he's dead, 13 years old, an eighth grader. couldn't something else have been done?

>> in addition to the fbi, the santa rosa police department and the county district attorney are also investigating the shooting. so far the names of the two deputies involved have not been released out of concern, officials say, for their safety. erica?

>> joe fryer, thank you.