Justice for Jerry Waller

Forensic Reconstruction Proves Jerry Waller Was Unarmed

Jerry’s Widow Feared “Monster” had Escaped

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at 2015.05.24
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  • Hours passed before police confessed to widow that their officers shot her husband
  • Waller's widow denied access to her medication while held in car outside her home

Daughter recounts confusion on the day of the incident and how mother was misled by police.

Jerry and Kathy a surprise birthday partyTwo years ago I was shocked by the news of my father’s death. One minute he was sleeping next to my mother and the next minute he was gone.

The better part of a day passed before anyone in my family was told that my father died after Officers Hoeppner and Hanlon came by mistake to our house in the middle of the night.

They suspected my shirtless, shoeless dad of being up to no good in his own garage. Officer Hoeppner shot him. As my father lay on the ground, most likely dead, Officer Hanlon calmly called in “shots fired, we don’t know who the guy is.” This is an unforgivable mistake.

After hearing the shots, my mom came out from their bedroom, through the kitchen, into the garage. She only wanted to tend to my father who she saw was wounded. My father was lying face down with his arms raised to his sides and bleeding profusely. In the darkness of night, disoriented by flashlights, it was hard for my mom to tell how badly he was hurt. An officer told my mom that being taken to the police car in front of her home was “for her own protection.” As she sat in the car, my mother learned my father was dead.

My mother asked “who would do this, have you found who did this?” The officer replied “We are looking for him.”

My mother was denied access to her medication and phone while in the police car outside of her house. She was then taken to the hospital for high blood pressure.

Hours later, away from the scene, my mother was finally told that my father had been shot by the police.

I can imagine my mother’s terror in seeing my father bleed and believing a “monster” was on the loose. I’ve seen pictures of my father lying lifeless in a pool of blood on the floor of our garage. I will endure the personal pain of sharing some of these images with the public because the photos tell an important story. Blood spatters on my father’s face show that his hands were up by his face. Gunshot wounds on his hand show he was unarmed. Streaks of blood show my father’s body was moved for reasons that remain unclear.

In his first statement, the officer who shot my father didn’t remember if he ever said the word police. However, he recalls my father saying “get that light out of my eyes.” That’s perhaps the only part of the report that makes any sense. I wish these officers would have bothered to use their flashlights to read the street address. Instead, they assumed a man they woke up in the middle of the night was the suspect for a crime that didn’t even happen.

I will tell you who “the guy” was. That guy was my father. He was busy running a small business. Jerry Waller had the deepest respect for the men and women who serve our country and communities. He was a grandfather who loved to spoil his grandchildren. My father was generous and brave. I strive every day to to bring meaning to a senseless death, by being the kind of person that he was.