Police officers from Fort Worth, Texas, are blaming bad lighting rather than their own incompetence for wrongly killing 72-year-old Jerry Waller.
According to a search warrant affidavit acquired by the Star-Telegram, police were dispatched to 409 Havenwood Lane on May 28 because of a reported burglary. The problem was that they went to 404 Havenwood Lane instead of their intended destination.
The affidavit complains, “there is no lighting around the home and the officers had only the use of their flashlights.”
To make matters more complicated, the police might very well have lied in their report. The police claim that they saw a man “armed with a handgun standing near the corner of the home.” They ordered him to drop the gun, and when he pointed the gun at them, the police opened fire.
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And yet, Waller died inside of his garage, leaving residents of the community to wonder why there is such a blatant discrepancy between the facts and the report.
“My father never stepped outside of his garage," said Waller's son, Chris. "He was shot multiple times in the chest only a few steps away from the doorway to his kitchen.”
Becky Haskin, a neighbor two doors down from 404 Havenwoon Lane, added, “I think they [the officers] got startled.”
Whatever the case, the police have no reason for justifiably shooting an innocent civilian. The man allegedly pointed his gun at police, but that is not surprising considering that a bunch of people with flashlights and guns snuck onto his property without warning in the middle of the night.
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The police claim to be investigating the shooting, but the two officers that were involved have already returned to active duty. However, even if the police do not lift a finger to punish their own wrongdoers, it is entirely possible that the Waller family will seek justice on its own.
“I think the police department is just waiting to see how much they’re going to get hit by the Wallers’ attorneys,” Haskin said.