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Madison police chief: Shooting victim reached for cop's gun during struggle

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Madison’s police chief said Monday that a 30-year-old man was killed by an officer because he was reaching for the patrolman’s gun during a struggle.

Chief Noble Wray confirmed that musician Paul Heenan was not trying to break into a home, as was reported soon after the shooting early last Friday.

Instead, Heenan was drinking and he mistakenly thought a neighbor’s house was his.

Chief Wray said Heenan and the neighbor were scuffling when officer Stephen Heimsness arrived. The officer assumed one of them was a burglar, and he pointed a gun while telling the two to fall to the ground.

Wray said Heenan made a move toward the officer, grabbed his arm with one hand, and reached toward the gun with the other. And that’s when Heimsness fired 3 shots at him.

Wray said he thought the use of force was justified because an active burglary was assumed at the time. The chief said the incident remains under investigation. 

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