FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office released documents and video Wednesday about the shooting of Fort Worth homeowner Jerry Waller. The materials provide an overview of the case which culminated in a Fort Worth police officer being no-billed by a Tarrant County grand jury.
The released video was recorded by police investigators in the moments and hours after 72-year-old Waller was shot and killed. Some of the footage is very graphic.
In their report, investigators stated that the police officers who responded to a security alarm that night went to the wrong address on Havenwood Lane for three reasons. First, the police mobile data computer did not provide the exact address of the burglar alarm that had sounded. Second, it was extremely dark outside and the officers were unable to see the address numbers on homes or curbs.
But the report also states that, according to Officer R.A. Hoeppner, Waller exited his residence and entered the garage with a handgun showing. Police did not know if he was a resident or a suspect.
Investigators said that the Hoeppner gave Waller repeated commands to drop his gun, but the homeowner did not comply. According to the officer, Waller responded with “Why?” and “Get that light out of my eyes.”
Hoeppner added that Waller eventually put his gun down on the trunk of a car. As the officer moved in to retrieve the weapon, Waller scrambled to pick it up, and then pointed it at the officer. The report said that this is when Hoeppner fired his weapon six times.
During the investigation, police said the Hoeppner stated, “At that point in time, when he put… put the gun… pointed the gun at me, I mean, I was almost positive that he was going to shoot me and kill me.”
“I mean, ideally I wanted to move in and just get between him and the gun and just cut us all out,” Hoeppner also said. “He made this situation possible when… when he freaked out.”
The last sentence of the report said that it is still undetermined why Waller was reluctant to put down his handgun, and why he picked it up again and pointed it at Hoeppner.
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