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U.S. Justice Dept. to review musician's shooting death by Madison cop


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The U.S. Justice Department will review the shooting death of a musician by a Madison police officer.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil asked for the probe, after his office got dozens of letters asking for an independent review of Paul Heenan’s death.

Recent news accounts said the 30-year-old Heenan mistakenly entered a neighbor’s house while drunk on November 9th – and he got into a scuffle with Kevin O’Malley, who was trying to get Heenan to his own house.

Madison Police officer Stephen Heimsness saw the scuffle when he arrived. Reports said the officer told the men to settle down, and Heenan then grabbed the officer’s arm and reached for his gun. Heimsness then pushed back and shot Heenan three times.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is expected to take a few weeks to investigate. Madison Police officials said the officer did not violate policies on deadly force – and he was put back on the street after a few weeks on administrative leave.

During that leave, WKOW-TV said Heimsness got over $1,000 in overtime pay. Officials said Heimsness was called in for meetings, but the nature of those meetings was not disclosed.