Rookie cops killed a grandfather while he was standing in his own driveway. Jerry Waller of East Fort Worth, Texas, was shot six times by Fort Worth police officers responding to reports of a burglary.
The Fort Worth Police Department received a call reporting a burglar alarm around 12 am on Tuesday. Waller heard a disturbance outside his home around the same time. As reported by the Star-Telegram, Waller carried a gun as he was concerned for his safety.
What happened next is unclear. The police officers somehow ended up in Waller’s driveway, not across the street where they were told to respond. Reports place Waller’s body in the driveway, just inside his garage. The only certainty is that rookie cops killed the grandfather in his own driveway. What prompted the shooting is still under investigation.
Corporal Tracey Knight, spokeswoman for the Fort Worth Police Department, defends the officers actions:
“This is a terrible tragedy for everyone … 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.”
Knight further stated that the officers responding to the call “felt threatened.”
Waller’s friends and family disagree. While they admit he carried a handgun, they insist that he would not have used it to threaten police. His wife Kathy calls the officers “trigger-happy,” explaining that her husband has never been in trouble with the law. Mr. Waller was a veteran and a local business owner.
As reported by CBS News, Kathy thinks her husband of 46 years was killed because the officers “made a terrible mistake.” She is incredibly distressed and is looking for answers about what really occurred.
Both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete. One witness pointed out that officers never responded to the home they were called to, until after the shooting.
The reason rookie cops killed a grandfather, in his own driveway, may never be fully understood. However, the Fort Worth Police Department will stand behind the officers’ decision until the investigation is complete.
[Image via Wikimedia]