The details of Jerry Waller’s shocking fatal shooting are fuzzy so far. Police say that when went to investigate what he thought was a disturbance near his garage, he took his .38-caliber handgun with him.
By Stephen Williams / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 6:00 PM
A 72-year-old grandfather – a law-abiding family man, his neighbors said – was shot Tuesday by police in the driveway of his home after he stepped outside to check on a noise on his quiet street in East Fort Worth, Texas.
The details of the shooting Tuesday night, which shocked Jerry Waller’s friends and family, are fuzzy so far. But what is clear from police is that when Waller went to investigate what he thought was a disturbance near his garage, he took his .38-caliber handgun with him.
When uniformed officers arrived to investigate a neighbor’s burglar alarm across the street from Waller’s house, the two rookies apparently felt in danger when they saw Waller in his driveway holding the gun, and fired at him six times.
Fort Worth Police spokeswoman Tracey Knight said that “policies and procedures were followed … Officers are taught when they go to a call to survey the entire landscape and not just the small area of where the call is.”
Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead said his department was investigating the shooting, and added that the two officers had been put on routine administrative leave.
The victim’s son, Chris Waller, said in an email to the Star-Telegram that the police account of the shooting was inaccurate.
“My father never stepped outside of his garage. He was shot multiple times in the chest only a few steps away from the doorway to his kitchen,” he wrote.
Former Fort Worth City Councilwoman Becky Haskin told the Star Telegram that she was awakened by gunfire at 1:07 a.m.
“The shots came really rapidly one after another,” she said. “My husband, who knows a lot about firearms, said he thought it was the police because of the way the shots came so fast.”
Immediately, other officers swarmed the street
“I was told by an officer that (Waller) wouldn’t put his gun down,” Haskin said. “It is really an awful, terrible thing.”