As we learn more details regarding veteran deputy Erick Gelhaus, allegations surrounding his gun use have come into question.
Deputy Gelhaus was put on leave from the Sonoma County, CA police department after the death of Andy Lopez, the 13-year-old he shot and killed last month when he mistakenly mistook Lopez’s toy gun for a real one. The deputy reportedly fired over seven shots at the teen while he was on the ground.
Now, a man has come forward to speak about his encounter with the deputy in August, when he was pulled over during a routine traffic stop. Jeff Westbrook, a program manager at an IT company, explained that Gelhaus allegedly pulled his gun on him after Westbrook failed to signal while changing lanes. According to the Daily Mail:
He said he pulled into a shoulder, but offered to move the car forward because there was not much room next to the driver door for Gelhaus. When the car started moving, Gelhaus is alleged to have drawn his gun.
Westbrook was terrified and regrets not coming forward about the encounter, believing he could have spared Lopez’s life.
“It was about a foot from my face,” Westbrook said. “I’ve never had a gun pointed at me before.”
Check out the interview below. Do you think Westbrook’s allegations are a stretch?