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DAs: Deadly Force On Leadville Teen Justified

CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — Prosecutors say an officer was justified in fatally shooting an 18-year-old Leadville man who led officers on an 80-mile chase and had a gun.

Investigators later learned Jacob VanderBeek’s gun was a replica pellet gun, and a grenade he had was inert.

Authorities say the chase started early July 14 after a Lake County sheriff’s deputy tried to stop an allegedly speeding VanderBeek.

At times VanderBeek would stop, then drive off. At one point, the deputy saw the gun and grenade and shot at VanderBeek. He told a dispatcher, “shots fired,” leading other officers to believe VanderBeek was the one firing.

Three district attorneys who reviewed the case say that in any case, Buena Vista police officer Dean Morgan was justified in shooting when VanderBeek allegedly pointed a gun later.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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