Madison Officer Cleared In Shooting Death


An internal investigation by the Madison Police Department has cleared a police officer in the November 9 shooting death of Madison musician Paul Heenan.In the report released Wednesday, Madison Police Chief Noble Wray called Heenan’s death tragic. Heenan had returned from a night of drinking and by mistake entered the house of a neighbor instead of his own. That prompted a 911 call about a possible burglary. When police arrived Heenan was struggling on the sidewalk with the neighbor who was trying to convince him to go home just two doors down the street. Chief Wray say when Officer Stephen Heimsness confronted them and ordered them both to get down, Heenan rushed at the officerand tried to take his gun, “Officer Heimsness believed he was imminent danger of being disarmed and that his life was in imminent danger. Officer Heimsness concluded that his only option at the time was to use deadly force.”

The neighbor who witnessed the shooting says he yelled at the officer that Heenan was his neighbor but Chief Wray say the officer didn’t hear the shouts. The coroner’s report found that Paul Heenan’s blood alcohol level was .208, twice the legal limit for drivers. The attorney for Paul Heenan’s family Jeff Scott Olson says he will request more police records on the incident before deciding whether to file a lawsuit, “When we have all the documents we can get we will review everything in our files from our investigation and the police investigation and make a recommendation to the parents and the we will act on their decision.”

Meanwhile Officer Stephen Heimsness who has been on leave will face no disciplinary action and will resume his police patrol responsibilities.

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