Neighbors Defend Dallas Officers Who Shot Vietnam Veteran

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The man, who Dallas police say shot and killed an intruder then pointed a gun at officers, is described by friends as a big-hearted church-goer who had mental challenges.

Dallas police said 57-year-old Keith Hall shot and killed 30-year-old Jerry Hale Thursday after Hall caught Hale in his garage.

Witnesses recalled seeing Hall standing over Hale looking to shot him a second time and telling them he was going to shoot the police as well.

Dallas police said officers had no choice but to shoot Hall after he pointed a gun at them.

“He would have never purposely hurt the officers or neighbors,” said Pastor Kent Barnard of Redeemer Bible Church. “I wasn’t there. I have no idea what happened or what went wrong but that’s not the Keith we know.”

Keith Hall (credit: Monique Byron)

Keith Hall (credit: Monique Byron)

Barnard said the man he’s known for the past six years walks two miles to church every Sunday, is always willing to help, and ‘loves people’.

The Dallas pastor said Hall had issues stemming back from his military career. He said he was drafted and served during the Vietnam War.

Barnard said Hall was also slow to process information and was hard of hearing.

“I’m sure when the police confronted him last night he could not have understood what they were saying,” he said.

Hall was unemployed.

His home in Northeast Dallas had boarded up windows. Police said it was a hoarder’s home.

Friends said Hall recently purchased a gun because he was worried about someone breaking into his home.

Barnard said until Friday he was not aware that Hall owned a gun.


(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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