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Inquest: Officer was justified in shooting

Published On: Dec 04 2013 08:41:36 AM MST
police shooting
HELENA, Mont. -

A coroner's jury found a Lewis and Clark County sheriff's deputy was justified in shooting an armed man who faced arson charges in Musselshell County.
    
A jury heard testimony Tuesday about Deputy Matthew Reighard's shooting of 62-year-old Douglas Harper at a residence north of East Helena on May 29 and determined the shooting was not criminal.
    
Reighard responded to a call for a welfare check on Harper. Family members were concerned about his mental health and that he may be suicidal.
    
Reighard said when he arrived, Harper was sitting in a sport utility vehicle with a semi-automatic handgun on the passenger seat. Reighard testified that Harper grabbed the gun, started to raise it in Reighard's direction and didn't follow orders to put it down. Reighard fired six shots into the SUV, killing Harper.