Man dead after officer involved shooting in Ft. Worth - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Man dead after officer involved shooting in Ft. Worth

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Family members of an armed homeowner shot and killed by Fort Worth police said police are not telling the whole truth about what happened.

The homeowner's family suggested that Fort Worth police conduct an independent investigation of the shooting.

Fort Worth P.D. did not answer any questions Wednesday after giving few details the day before about some key moments.

Jerry Waller, 72, is dead after being shot by Fort Worth police in a Tuesday morning incident.

Police say Officers Richard Hoeppner, 23, and Benjamin Hanlon, 26, responded to a residential burglar alarm in the 400 block of Havenwood Lane North and came upon a man with a handgun.

Police said they don't know why the officers went to Waller's house instead of the house across the street where there was a report of a burglar alarm going off.

Waller's driveway runs the length of his house to the garage in the back.

His house overlooks the golf course and K.C. Wright's house.

"We heard just 5 shots sounded like bam, bam not one shot then a return just 5 immediate shots," said Wright.

At first light, Wright took pictures from his backyard. Jerry Waller was pronounced dead at the scene, shot and killed in his own garage.

"A tragedy of errors that has happened here and we want to find out what happened," said Wright.

In a statement, police say the officers feared for their safety and shot Waller. Police have not said whether or not Waller pointed his gun at the officers.

"Officers were dispatched to a residential burglar alarm call and for reasons we don't know right now the officers ended up at the house across the street," said Cpl. Tracey Knight with the Fort Worth Police Dept.

Family members are upset. On Wednesday, they criticized the police's explanation of why the shooting occurred.

"We were disturbed by suggestions that the police may have felt threatened by a man in his own garage faced with unknown trespassers holding flashlights," said Angie Waller, daughter of the slain man.

The family says they want an independent investigation into the shooting.
         
Police have said they will not say anything more until the investigation is complete.

Without answers the family says they have felt compelled to speak out even as they deal with their loss.
 
"My dad was always a happy person and anytime I'm feeling stressed I think about how he could take any situation and be happy and find humor and he was a loving father and grandfather," said Angie Waller.

 "Jerry would never raise a gun to another human being unless someone was coming in the house," says his brother Johnny. "Just doesn't add up to me I have no idea why a man, an officer could shoot a man down in his garage."

Neighbor Becky Haskin, an ex-Ft. Worth council member, says there was no burglar and that a friend accidentally tripped her house alarm.

"The neighbor across the street walked out with a gun doing what neighbors do - checking on each other," said Haskin. "They're just a nice retired, couple who worked in their yard had family and grandkids over very wonderful neighbors that anybody would love to have."

Both Richard Hoeppner and Benjamin Hanlon were commissioned in the department last October. They have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is being investigated.

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