- Associated Press - Monday, February 27, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - An inquest has been scheduled for next month in the shooting death of a Wyoming man by a Montana police officer following a standoff in a hotel lobby, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said Monday.

Kyle Killough, 32, of Gillette, was killed in Billings on Oct. 27. Authorities say Killough was shot three times by Officer David Raschkow when he refused to drop a handgun following 25 minutes of negotiations and then turned toward officers with the weapon.

It was the seventh fatal shooting since 2012 by law enforcement in Montana’s largest city, which has about 110,000 people.

In five of the cases, autopsies found methamphetamine in the victim’s bodies. Another involved a man who had just escaped from prison.

Killough’s mother, Jan Urioste, said Monday that she suspects her son had been using illegal drugs and had stopped taking medications for mental illness.

Urioste, who lives in New Mexico, reiterated her earlier statements that she does not blame officers for shooting her son. She also praised the sheriff’s office and prosecutors for sharing information with her during the investigation.

Twito declined comment on whether any drugs were found in Killough’s system.

Pathologist Robert Kutzman is anticipated to testify about the toxicology results from Killough’s autopsy during the March 29 inquest, Twito said.

Coroner’s inquests are required under Montana law whenever law enforcement is involved in a fatal shooting or someone dies in law enforcement custody.

Citizen juries hear testimony and then make a recommendation on whether criminal charges are warranted. A final decision is up to prosecutors.

Deputy county attorneys Ed Zink and Julie Patten will conduct the proceeding, Twito said. It’s expected to last one day.

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