'A sad, sad accident': Fort Worth police shoot elderly man




Posted on May 28, 2013 at 4:47 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 5:44 PM

Officer-involved shooting

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FORT WORTH — A 72-year-old man was fatally shot as Fort Worth police investigated an alarm call early Tuesday morning in a neighborhood near Woodhaven County Club.

According to Fort Worth police, the alarm call came just before 1 a.m. in the 400 block of North Havenwood Lane. But after arriving at the scene, officers became involved in a confrontation with a man armed with a gun who was across the street from where the alarm was going off.

Feeling threatened, at least one officer fired at the man, who was later identified as Jerry Waller, police said. Waller was dead at the scene, in his own garage.

"It's just awful," said former City Council member Becky Haskin, who lives nearby. "It's a sad, sad accident."

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office said the cause of Waller's death was "multiple gunshot wounds."

Haskin said she and her husband heard five shots. "They were just rapid-fire, one after the other, and my husband said, 'That's a police officer,'" Haskin said.

Haskin said there was no sign of a burglary at the home and that the alarm may have triggered accidentally.

"I was told that the police officers were sobbing uncontrollably," she said.

Two officers involved in the shooting have been placed on routine administrative leave as the major case unit investigates.

Fort Worth police spokeswoman Tracey Knight called it a "horrible tragedy."

"It was horrible for the homeowner. A family has lost a loved one that can never be replaced," she said. "An officer has gone through an incident that no officer wants to go through."