Jerry Wayne Waller, a 72-year-old who lived in east Fort Worth, Texas, heard his neighbor’s security alarm going off early Tuesday morning. He lived in an area where most people knew their neighbors, as well as others who lived down the street. So he went outside his house to see what was going on.
But the Dallas-Fort Worth police had already arrived to take care of things. They didn’t let Waller leave his own property alive.
From yesterday’s CBS-DFW television report:
The 72-year-old man didn’t even make it to the house across the street before he was shot. He died on his own property.
Waller reportedly was armed at the time — presumably a precaution before venturing into a potentially dangerous situation, however unlikely it might have seemed. But the police presence raised the potential for danger considerably.
“We heard five shots,” said Becky Haskin, a former Fort Worth city council member who lives in the area. “They were just rapid-fire; one after the other.”
A spokesman for the police department said the officers “felt threatened by the man with the handgun and he was shot.”
At the scene after the killing, Haskin said the badged offenders were “sobbing uncontrollably and very distraught.”
Viewed from a distance, those among the Dallas-Fort Worth police who’ve perpetrated this and similar crimes must be among the most trigger-happy and skittish cops the whole of America’s municipal police population has to offer.
On Wednesday — i.e., only one day ago — we shared the story of the latest civilian death at the department’s hands, that of 350-pound asthmatic Jarmaine Darden, whom DFW cops shot with a Taser, from couch to floor, three times before he stopped breathing and died. That killing marked the fifth documented time DFW police have killed someone with a Taser since 2001.
Haskin said Waller and his wife were good neighbors who always took pride in their community.
“They are just a nice retired couple that loved working in their yard, having family over, and grandkids.”
No police were hurt in Waller’s killing.