Sunday, July 28, 2013

Armed homeowner 'protecting' his home killed by police

Did Stand Your Ground play a role in homeowners death?

Police officers in Fort Worth, Texas responding to a burglary alarm call went to the wrong house because of poor lighting and fatally shot an armed homeowner, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Officers B.B. Hanlon and R.P. Hoeppner were dispatched to an Fort Worth address at 12:51 a.m. May 28. But after arriving at 12:58 a.m., they “inadvertently began searching” the wrong address across the street, where 72-year-old Jerry Waller lived.

Officers “approached the west side of the house near the garage that is located on the southwest corner of the home with the knowledge that there was a possible burglary in progress. There is no lighting around the home and the officers had only the use of their flashlights,” according to the affidavit. As the officers approached, they encountered Waller, who “was armed with a handgun standing near the corner of the home,” according to the affidavit.

The officers identified themselves and ordered Waller to drop the gun, but he pointed it at the officers, prompting Hoeppner to shoot Waller, according to the affidavit.Waller was pronounced dead at 1:26 a.m. inside the garage. Waller’s relatives have previously disputed the officers’ account, accusing police of “misrepresenting details of the incident.”

“My father never stepped outside of his garage,” son Chris Waller told the Star-Telegram the day after the shooting. “He was shot multiple times in the chest only a few steps away from the doorway to his kitchen.”

Would Jerry Waller be dead today if he hadn't grabbed his gun and went out into to his garage to protect his home?  Had he called 911 and insured his doors were locked he would be alive today. However, a brash move to defend his home--emboldened by the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground--needlessly cause his demise.

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