A Montana boy startled at being awakened in the middle of the night fired a shot through his bedroom window and killed the 15-year-old friend who had been knocking and throwing pebbles at his window, police said Monday.
Billings police officers found the teen with a gunshot wound to his head early Sunday, and he died at a hospital a short time later. Police identified the victim as Mackeon Schulte, the Billings Gazette reported.
Schulte and another boy were spending the night together and showed up at their friend’s house about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a statement by Billings Police Chief Rich St. John released Monday.
The two knocked on their friend’s window and threw pebbles in an attempt to wake him, St. John said.
“When their friend awoke, he was startled by the noise and saw faces outside the window,” St. John’s statement said. “He didn’t know who they were and was scared.”
The boy grabbed a gun that was in the bedroom and fired through the window, striking Schulte in the head, the statement said. The second boy outside the window was not hurt.
Police were withholding the names and ages of the shooter and the uninjured friend because they are juveniles and no arrests have been made.
Police tape blocked the small, one-story home on Alderson Avenue after the shooting. Investigators were hampered by a steady rain that fell on the scene.
Authorities were meeting with prosecutors to determine how to proceed and whether to rule the death a homicide. Schulte’s family will meet with authorities before a decision is made on whether to file charges, the Gazette reported.
Schulte was a sophomore at Billings Senior High School.
“This is a huge tragedy for Senior High and the district,” Superintendent Terry Bouck told the newspaper. “We’re just doing the best we can to make sure everyone is OK throughout this situation.”