Widow wants answers from Fort Worth police

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 29 at 3:31 PM

Officer-involved shooting

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FORT WORTH — Kathy Waller never imagined that when Jerry Waller went to find out what was causing a ruckus outside their garage early Tuesday morning, it would be the last time she would see her 72-year-old husband alive.

"Married 46 years, and then somebody gets a little trigger-happy and away they go," she told News 8.

Fort Worth police said the shooter was one of their own.

Officers were responding to a burglar alarm off North Havenwood Lane when they ended up on the Waller's property.

Police documents indicate the officers were supposed to be responding to a home across the street.

Police spokeswoman Cpl. Tracey Knight wouldn't go into much detail about what led up to the shooting, saying only that "officers felt threatened" by Jerry Waller.

He was carrying a .38-caliber handgun, but police won't say if he pointed it at officers, or even if he ever left his own garage.

An investigation is ongoing.

The two officers involved in the fatal shooting have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

"Considering the gravity of the situation, we wanted the public to know that we know that somebody lost their life today," Knight said.

She stressed an internal investigation into what happened will be "transparent."

Kathy Waller said her husband had been shot six times. She said from what she could tell, he never left the garage.

She said he was only carrying the gun because they weren't sure if someone was trying to break into a car in the driveway.

"He is 72... why just shoot him?" she asked.

Mrs. Waller said she wasn't sure if her husband and police exchanged any words before police opened fire.

Jerry Waller was a local businessman who ran a tire recycling operation. The couple has children and grandchildren.

"He would give you the shirt off his back, and he was loving, and he was a wonderful husband," Mrs. Waller said. "I miss him dearly."

The Waller's live near Woodhaven Country Club. Neighbors said there were a rash of burglaries a number of months ago, but nothing recently.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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