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Bad River tribe asks feds to investigate teen’s fatal shooting

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A northern Wisconsin tribe wants federal officials to investigate why a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a teenager on the tribe’s reservation.

Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed 14-year-old Jason Pero on the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s reservation.

Police on Nov. 8 received a 911 call reporting a man walking on Maple Street in Odanah carrying a knife. Odanah is east of Ashland, located on the Bad River Reservation.

Mrdjenovich responded to the scene and encountered the boy, who is 5’9″ and 300 pounds, fitting the description given by the 911 caller. The boy was later identified as 14-year-old Jason Ike Pero. The state Department of Justice says Pero lunged at Mrdjenovich with a butcher knife.

Investigators have determined Jason Pero was the same person that called 911 reporting a man with a knife, giving his own physical description, police said.

Initial information indicates that Pero had been despondent over the few days leading up to the incident and evidence from a search of Pero’s bedroom supports that information

The boy’s mother and other relatives have said they’re not convinced Jason had a knife.

That agency is still investigating the incident.

WDIO-TV reported Thursday that the Bad River tribal council doesn’t agree with the state’s account and has asked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate.

Shereen Siewert contributed to this story.

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