DA: No criminal liability in officer-involved shooting

Officer believes he was threatened

Published On: Dec 27 2012 12:58:56 PM CST
Officer Steven Heimsness and Paul Heenan
MADISON, Wis. -

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said there is no criminal liability for the officers involved in the shooting of Paul Heenan.

Heenan, 30, died after Madison Police Officer Steven Heimsness shot him three times in the 500 block of South Baldwin Street on Nov. 9. Police said Heenan charged Heimsness and reached for the officer's gun.

Police were responding to a home burglary call and it was later discovered Heenan was new to the neighborhood and attempted entering the wrong house.

Ozanne said officer Steven Heimsness saw two men in a physical struggle on the sidewalk near 513 S. Baldwin St. and he recognized one of the men as the husband of the woman who had reported the break-in.

Heenan advanced aggressively on Heimsness, who had his gun drawn, and gave commands to get on the ground, according to Ozanne. He said there was a struggle and Heimsness believed Heenan was trying to disarm him.

Heimsness fired three shots after getting distance between him and Heenan, according to Ozanne.

Ozanne said responding to a physical threat to be disarmed with deadly force may be reasonable under the law.

The homeowner told police he believed Heenan was drunk and he was attempting to take him to his house down the street. He said Heenan had come at him and was pushing him backwards.

Ozanne said evidence, including witness statements, officer statements, physical evidence, State Crime Lab findings, and Medical Examiner findings are consistent with each other.

Ozanne also found the Madison Police Department conducted a thorough and objective investigation that’s ongoing.