For the first time, photos, crime scene video and documents are providing a close look at what happened inside the garage of a homeowner who was shot and killed by Fort Worth police investigating a burglary last May.
The hundreds of pages of documents were released to FOX4 on Wednesday, a week after a rookie officer who shot Jerry Waller was cleared by a grand jury.
In May 2012, Officer R.A. Hoeppner and former officer B.B. Hanlon responded to a burglary alarm call, but went to the wrong house, shooting and killing the homeowner, Waller.
Waller's complete autopsy report is among the hundreds of pages of new documents and photos.
It shows Waller had liver cancer. Two sources confirmed to FOX4 that although Waller had been treated for cancer before, he did not know, and his family was surprised to learn the cancer had returned.
Fort Worth police later filmed a re-enactment video, showing them retracing the route Hoeppner and Hanlon took to get to the origin of the call in the home on Havenwood Lane.
They use the same GPS system that police say routed Hoeppner and Hanlon to Havenwood Lane, but not to the exact address. In the re-created video, officers get to the neighborhood and find poor lighting conditions.
Because Hoeppner and Hanlon believed a burglar may have been in the area on the night of the shooting, the officers in the re-created video turn off the headlights to get a feel for what things looked like.
Waller lived across the street from the burglary call.
Another re-enactment video shows the approach Officer Hoeppner took to the garage in the rear of the house, still unaware that he and Hanlon were at the wrong address.
Officer Hanlon was knocking and ringing the doorbell at the front door.
At the back of the driveway, as the camera turns the corner, the video becomes too graphic to show, as Waller's body is still in plain view inside his garage.
Officer Hoeppner told police investigators he drew his service revolver as Waller came into the garage from inside the house with a gun at his side.
Hoeppner told investigators he could not figure out if Waller was the resident or a burglar because he refused repeated commands to put his gun down.
Hoeppner said Waller eventually put the gun on the truck of a car in the garage, but that Waller went for the gun as Hoeppner tried to secure it.
Six shots were fired, all from Officer Hoeppner's gun.
"I don't know who the guy is," Hanlon can be heard saying on radio traffic. "The guy came out with a gun. He wouldn't put the gun down. He pointed at Hoeppner. Hoeppner fired."
Two days after the shooting, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead tried to reach out to the family in an email.
He told someone on his staff to let Waller's wife, Katherine Waller, know that he wants to meet with her if she wants.
"I cannot even begin to understand the pain they are feeling," said Halstead. "If meeting with me will help them in any way, I will be there."
KDFW FOX 4
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