Two rookie cops responding to a burglary call accidentally went to the wrong Fort Worth house and ended up shooting the homeowner due to "poor lighting," a police affidavit claims.
Despite being sent to investigate a possible break-in at 409 Havenwood Lane, Officers B.B. Hanlon and R.P. Hoeppner "inadvertently began searching" [PDF] across the street at 404 Havenwood instead.
The early morning hours of May 28th provided little natural light for the officers, and the affidavit says there was "no lighting around the home" of 72-year-old Jerry Waller and his wife Kathy, "and the officers had only the use of their flashlights."
Facts get a bit murky after that.
The officers allege that they encountered Waller standing outside his garage with a .38-caliber handgun, and identified themselves. They insist they only shot Waller after he pointed the gun at them.
But Waller's family tells a different story.
"My father never stepped outside of his garage," Waller's son Chris told the Star-Telegram shortly after the shooting. "He was shot multiple times in the chest only a few steps away from the doorway to his kitchen."
The only facts not in dispute are that Waller was shot six times in his own home by two police officers who shouldn't have been on his property to begin with.
"Married 46 years, and then somebody gets a little trigger-happy and away they go," Kathy told WFAA back in May.
According to her version of events, Jerry stepped outside after noticing suspicious bright lights shining outside their bedroom window.
She said she heard some yelling, followed almost immediately by gunshots.
A police department spokesperson said an internal investigation was ongoing. Meanwhile, both Hanlon and Hoeppner have resumed full-time duty.