Would this situation have a better ending if cops had shot a guy in a ski mask coming at them with a weapon?
It seems quite likely that had the kid seen flashing lights and uniformed officers he might have reacted differently and might not have been shot at all. Even if he were determined to destroy himself and did force a lethal confrontation, the answer is yes, I think it would be a better ending if the cops had shot him instead of his father. Especially for his father.
As far as the original question. It's hard to identify masked persons--that's the point of a mask.
I think that the best lesson this scenario teaches is that you shouldn't force a confrontation if you don't have to. It's one thing to look stupid if you call the cops over a raccoon, but that doesn't compare to shooting someone when you could have avoided it.