This is a distressing situation all around, both for the teen's family and the officers involved.
The moral is, if you're old enough to do the crime, you're old enough to suffer the consequences.
Apr 26, 10:21 PM EDT
Report: Officers justified in fatal shooting near Fort Benton
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A Chouteau County sheriff's deputy and a Montana Highway Patrol officer were justified in fatally shooting a 13-year-old boy near Fort Benton, the administrator for the state Division of Criminal Investigation said.
"They did what they had to do based on their training and based on the situation they encountered," Mike Batista said.
Batista said the boy, Mark A. Keeley of Havre, fired a shotgun at the officers several times early Sunday.
Officials say Keeley was driving a car, believed to have been stolen in Havre, that matched the description of a reported gas drive-off in Chester, about 55 miles north of Fort Benton.
The boy would not pull over, and a Montana Highway Patrol trooper later stopped the car by placing "stop sticks" on the highway about five miles north of Fort Benton, Sheriff Vern Burdick said. He said the boy then fired a gun, striking the deputy's patrol car, and continued driving south on Montana 223.
Just north of Fort Benton the driver fired multiple rounds at the deputy and the trooper, who both returned fire, Burdick said. Keeley was in the front seat when he was shot, and was still alive when officers pulled him out.
The teen was flown to a hospital in Great Falls, where he was pronounced dead.
"(Keeley) had a second opportunity not to engage the officers and he continued to fire shots," Batista said. "Based on their experience, this was a deadly encounter and they had a right to respond accordingly."
The road was closed for most of the day Sunday while the shooting was investigated. Four state investigators cleared the scene Wednesday - the same day as Keeley's funeral.
The officers involved remain on paid administrative leave.
Batista said it could be two months before a coroner's inquest would be held.
Keeley's grandfather, also named Mark, said the family knows nothing more than what they've read in the news.
"All I can tell you is they're not really telling us anything," he said. "They keep telling us we'll learn everything in two months."