Frank Half Jr.

BILLINGS – Police said Tuesday that a man who died following a nine-hour standoff was killed by gunfire from Billings officers.

Lt. Neil Lawrence said a press release that the conclusion was reached after an autopsy was performed Monday.

“The suspect’s death was not self-inflicted,” Lawrence said in a press release.

John Joey Half Jr., 30, died Saturday after driving a vehicle into the front entrance of Big Bear Sporting Center on King Avenue West and exchanging intermittent gunfire with officers during an ensuing nine-hour standoff.

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Officers eventually enter the building to find Half dead, but it was unclear until the autopsy if he took his own life or was killed by police gunfire.

Eight officers who fired shots at Half during the incident have been placed on administrative leave while the department conducts an internal shooting review.

Lawrence said no additional information would be released about the investigation.

“Once the investigation is complete it will be forwarded to the County Attorney’s Office, who will then schedule a Coroner’s Inquest,” he stated in the press release. “Additional investigative details will be released during the inquest.”

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