‘Trigger-happy’ cops shoot 72-year-old Texas man dead inside his own garage

By Arturo Garcia
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 12:12 EDT
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72-year-old Jerry Waller killed by police in his own garage. Image via KHOU-TV.
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The widow of a 72-year-old Texas man is searching for answers after Fort Worth police shot and killed him on Tuesday while responding to a burglary call involving a house across the street.

“Married 46 years, and, you know, somebody gets a little trigger-happy and away they go,” Kathy Waller said to WFAA-TV on Tuesday after her husband, Jerry Waller, was shot inside the couple’s garage.

Kathy Waller told KHOU the couple noticed police in their Fort Worth neighborhood just after 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. Her husband grabbed his .38-caliber handgun and went downstairs to see what was happening. She said to the station she heard six gunshots afer he opened the garage door.

The Dallas News reported on Tuesday that authorities said in a statement that the two officers were “engaged by an adult male armed with a handgun” and shot him in fear for their safety. Jerry Waller was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I was told by an officer he wouldn’t put his gun down,” former city council member Becky Haskin told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Haskin lives in the same neighborhood as the victim.

The Star-Telegram also reported that the two unidentified officers involved in the shooting have been with the department for less than a year. They have both been placed on administrative leave. A department spokesperson, Cpl. Tracey Knight, also promised to conduct a transparent investigation of the shooting while explaining the officers’ presence in the Wallers’ home.

“Policies and procedures were followed,” Knight told the Star-Telegram. “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.”

Watch KHOU’s report on the shooting, posted online on Wednesday, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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