04/24/2007

13-year-old boy dead after shootout with officers on Mont. highway

The Associated Press

FORT BENTON, Mont. — Law enforcers fatally shot a 13-year-old boy after he fired a gun at them on a state highway, authorities said Monday.

The boy was declared dead early Sunday, soon after he was shot and flown to a hospital in Great Falls. A coroner identified the boy as Mark Keeley.

Chouteau County Sheriff Vern Burdick said the boy was driving a car that matched the description of one involved in a gasoline drive-off.

The boy would not pull over, and a state trooper stopped the vehicle by placing "stop sticks" on the highway, Burdick said.

The boy then fired a gun, striking the deputy's patrol car, and continued driving on flat tires, the sheriff said. He fired rounds at the deputy and the trooper, who both returned fire, Burdick said.

He said the car the boy was driving was believed stolen.

Both the deputy and the trooper are on paid leave until the state finishes its investigation, he said. They were not injured.

Autopsy results are expected in about 10 days, Fergus County Coroner Dick Brown said.

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