Wednesday’s announcement that the officer who repeatedly shot and killed an innocent homeowner in Woodhaven is beyond comprehension. The grand jury appears to have glossed over the incident with no indictment and Police Chief Jeff Halstead, a man whom I have met and previously held in high regard, has ignored the incident and refused to discipline the officer.
Let’s see: They went to the wrong house and a homeowner who had not called the police appeared to be protecting his property against someone claiming to be police. In an instance of horribly wrong judgment, he was gunned down in a hail of bullets from an obviously improperly trained cop.
Aren’t these situations to be handled by a crisis team? Why not back off if he’s got the opportunity? This smells bad. Thank God they haven’t come to my house by mistake. And thank God for the cops who handle such situations properly.
— Ken Orton, Fort Worth
Former councilwoman Becky Haskin accuses Officer R.A. “Alex” Hoeppner and his partner of being rookies and “not adequately trained.” It appears Haskin is unfamiliar with the way the Fort Worth Police Department trains officers.
Being a rookie does not mean an officer is “untrained.” I doubt they’d let someone right out of the academy loose in a squad car. I’m pretty sure Hoeppner had to ride with a training officer before being let out on his own.
I have a problem with her statement: “He just unloaded his gun in rapid fire. That’s what I heard. It woke me up.” If it woke her up, just how does she know how it started and how it went down up to the point she woke up? She added, “There wasn’t any hesitation.” Once again how does she know this?
Rapid fire does not necessarily equate to a lack of hesitation. How does she know what was going on in the minds of the officers and her neighbor, Jerry Waller? It was an accident — tragic but still an accident. Period.
By the way, there’s a reason some police officers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
— Mac McKinzie, Arlington