Fort Worth Police Invade Wrong House. Kill 72-Year-Old Homeowner
Police officers in Fort Worth, Texas, shot and killed an elderly resident at his home after mistakenly going to the wrong address on a burglary call.
About an hour after midnight on May 28, police received word of a burglar alarm going off at 409 Havenwood Lane. Officers B.B. Hanlon and R.P. Hoeppner responded, but showed up at 404 Havenwood. The officers said poor lighting caused them to visit the wrong home.
A search warrant affidavit released this week says the officers “approached the west side of the house near the garage that is located on the southwest corner of the home with the knowledge that there was a possible burglary in progress. There is no lighting around the home and the officers had only the use of their flashlights.”
At 404 Havenwood, the officers encountered homeowner Jerry Waller, 72, who was holding a handgun “near the corner of the home,” according to the affidavit.
The officers claim they identified themselves and ordered Waller to drop the gun, but he pointed it at the officers, prompting Hoeppner to shoot Waller.
Waller’s son, Chris Waller, disputed the officers’ account following the shooting, and accused police of “misrepresenting details of the incident.”
“My father never stepped outside of his garage,” Chris Waller told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the day after the shooting. “He was shot multiple times in the chest only a few steps away from the doorway to his kitchen.”
Former Councilwoman Becky Haskin, who lives two doors down, said the entire neighborhood has been seeking answers about what happened that night, including why Hoeppner fired six times at Waller.
Police are still investigating the shooting.
To Learn More:
Affidavit: Police Went to Wrong House because of Poor Lighting (by Lee Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Woodhaven Resident Shot by Police was Pronounced Dead inside his garage (by Bill Hanna, Bill Miller and Deanna Boyd, Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
Indiana First State to Allow Citizens to Shoot Law Enforcement Officers (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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