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Washington (AFP) – Californian police have shot dead a 13-year-old boy who was carrying a pellet gun that looked like an assault rifle, police and media reports said.

The child, identified as Andy Lopez and described in media reports as popular in his school, was walking down a street on Tuesday when sheriff’s deputies saw him carrying what appeared to be a rifle.

They ordered him to drop it and “and at some point immediately thereafter, the deputies fired several rounds from their handguns at the subject striking him several times,” according to a statement from the Sonoma county sheriff’s office.

“Once the scene was secured deputies learned that the rifle was a replica of an assault weapon.”

Local media reported the victim was 13-years-old. Police did not confirm this but hinted at his youth in a statement of condolence.

“As a father of two boys about this age, I can’t begin to imagine the grief this family is going through,” said the statement from Sonoma County Sheriff Steve Freitas.

The shooting Tuesday has shocked the local community in the city of Santa Rosa, about 50 miles northwest of San Francisco.

The latest chapter in the epidemic of gun violence in the United States came a day after a 12-year-old boy in Nevada opened fire at his school, killing a teacher, wounding two students and ultimately killed himself.

AFP Photo/Michael Loccisano

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

Washington (AFP) - Republicans in the US Senate prevented action Thursday on a bill to address domestic terrorism in the wake of a racist massacre at a grocery store in upstate New York.

Democrats had been expecting defeat but were seeking to use the procedural vote to highlight Republican opposition to tougher gun control measures following a second massacre at a Texas elementary school on Tuesday.

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