Reclusive homeowner killed by police after fatally shooting burglar

Reclusive homeowner killed by police after fatally shooting burglar
Garett Ray Fisbeck/Staff Photographer
Dallas police investigated the scene of a shooting in Far East Dallas on Thursday night. “He was a loner,” a neighbor said of the homeowner who confronted police.


Staff Writer

A career criminal broke into a neglected-looking Far East Dallas home Thursday night thinking the homeowner had died and his belongings were there for the taking, police said.

But the homeowner, William Keith Hall, wasn’t dead after all. He shot the burglar, Jerry Wayne Hale, then stood over him in an alley with a gun in hand, police said. Hall told Hale, 30, that he wanted to shoot him again.

When police arrived, Hall pointed the 9 mm pistol — which had stopped working — at them and witnesses. Officers ordered Hall to drop his weapon and when he refused, they fatally shot the 57-year-old man.

Maj. Jeff Cotner of the crimes against persons division said Friday that responding officers didn’t realize in all the chaos that Hall was defending his home in the 10300 block of Sandra Lynn Drive.

But Cotner said Hall “had plenty of opportunities to de-escalate” the situation.

“He was given plenty of notice, and he didn’t choose a path other than to confront officers,” Cotner said.

Police received a 911 call around 7:45 p.m. Thursday from a contractor working on a nearby house. The caller told police about the shooting and said that when witnesses got near Hall, he pointed a gun at them and “tried to shoot” them. Cotner said Hall repeatedly tried to manipulate the gun’s jammed slide to fire it again, but to no avail.

During the call, the caller, who was later identified by WFAA (Channel 8) as David Humphrey, can be heard telling others to get away from Hall. Humphrey can also be heard shouting at Hall to leave Hale, who was still alive, alone.

Humphrey also told Hall that police were on the way. The contractor told Channel 8 that Hall replied, “Good, I’ll shoot them, too.”

When officers initially arrived at the scene, Cotner said Hall watched them from behind a privacy fence and later in some bushes outside his house. Without a suspect in custody, officers took cover and waved off a Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance that showed up to tend to Hale.

When Officers Julian McDaniel and Daniel Summers subsequently showed up on the scene, they didn’t know the other officers had taken cover, Cotner said. Officer Alexander Everett went to warn them as they headed toward Hale, who was lying in a pool of blood.

Then Hall began walking out of the shrubs and made it into his driveway while he continued to try to get his gun working again. Hall, who said nothing, moved toward the officers and then raised his weapon in their direction, Cotner said.

The three officers — all four-year veterans of the department — fired and struck Hall, Cotner said.

But the situation didn’t end there.

“He’s down on the ground, he’s on his back. His weapon is nearby,” Cotner said. “The officers are yelling at him — he’s still alive. He reaches for his weapon and begins to pick it up and point it again. They fire again.”

Both Hall and Hale died at the scene.

Hale, a felon, had been arrested 14 times in Texas since 2000, according to…Continued here:

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