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Unarmed man in speedos shot dead by police
By Tom Leonard in New York
Published: 5:50PM BST 22 Jul 2009
Tyler Heilman, 24, had just arrived home in Kasota, Minnesota, after a day's swimming with friends when he was accosted by Todd Waldron, a sheriff's deputy, who had been following him in an unmarked car.
As the pair got into a scuffle, friends of Mr Heilman insisted it was not clear that Mr Waldron was a police officer when he asked to see the other man's driving licence.
According to the friends, the two men got into an argument and ended up wrestling on the ground.
Originally posted by aleon1018
There have been stories of criminals posing as cops. Many cops have also been convicted of being criminals. Without having witnessed the event, I don't know the details. My guess would be that this was a lovers quarrel. Maybe the guy was messing around with the cops wife or girlfriend. idk
In Response To: Heilman's Family Wants Justice For Son's Shooting
VanillaDuck you are a horrible, heartless person. This "alcoholic/druggie" man you are talking about was my younger brothers friend and friend of many I hold dear. You need to not judge what you do not know. Tyler WAS in trouble with the law IN THE PAST. He was in the middle of getting his life together when he was shot and killed. As for Chris (the friend you mention in the car) it all happened so fast he didn't know what to think. He was scared. Simple as that. I wish you could have seen his face tonight. I did. I saw every tear that fell from his eye as he told me what he had witnessed. I saw the horror in his eyes as he was telling me of the scene that keeps replaying in his mind and will never go away. And as for the "badge that was on his belt"... there was no badge. That is he didn't show it until after the wrestling match began. When he did show it, Tyler got up back off with his hands in the air saying, "I'm done." THAT is when Tyler was shot. AFTER he surrendered. Tyler was not shot at once or twice or three times. No he was shot at four times. He was hit twice from what we know now. But this police officer shot at a man who said he was done and backing off, who had only swim trunks on, not even a shirt (so clearly know weapon) and who had his hands up in the air. Four times. Four. Tyler was but five feet away from him. If he really, really felt that for some reason in this case he had to shoot at Tyler, I believe once....in the leg....would have had a better outcome. So, VanillaDuck, take it from someone who knows these people: Tyler who was a son, a father, a boyfriend, a cousin and a friend...did not deserve this.
When Heilman started walking away, Waldron grabbed his shoulders, ordered him to the ground and announced that he was under arrest, Hoehn said.
Heilman then flipped Waldron to the ground and the two "wrestled," though no punches were thrown, Hoehn said. Heilman eventually pinned Waldron and only then saw the badge clipped to Waldron's belt. He then jumped off the deputy with his hands in the air, Hoehn said.
Waldron "sprang up and shot" without any warning, Hoehn said.
Heilman, who was dressed only in swim trunks, grabbed at two bullet wounds in his chest and staggered as blood oozed between his fingers.
" 'I'm done, man, I'm done -- what the hell?' " Hoehn recalled him saying between strained breaths.
Jolene Manderfield, who lives in the Valley View Apartments where Heilman was shot, supported Hoehn's account of the shooting occurring without any warning.
"[Waldron] just had that look on his face, 'What have I done? What have I done?'" said Manderfield, who pulled into the parking lot minutes before the shooting. "Why would you shoot someone that's unarmed? All he had on was a swimsuit, you know?"
Manderfield ran after Heil-man as he staggered around the apartment building, then collapsed on his stomach. When she and other witnesses turned him over he was unconscious, without a pulse, she said.
An argument ensued, and it was overheard by Manderfield, who was walking from the parking lot to the front door of the apartment building at the time.
The argument, which some said escalated to a physical altercation, prompted Manderfield to turn around and investigate. And as she turned the corner, she said she saw the officer reach for his gun, pull it out, point it at Heilman and fire what she believes was four shots into his chest (some in town say they heard just three shots.) Heilman had been swimming at Lake Emily and was wearing nothing but his trunks.
"(The officer) pulled out his gun and just started shooting," Manderfield said. "He didn't yell 'Freeze!' or anything. I said, 'What are you doing!' "
Manderfield administered CPR until paramedics arrived, but she says she knew immediately that it was hopeless.
"It was so senseless. (Heilman's) arms were like this," she said, raising her arms straight out from her sides. "I saw him. He knew (Heilman) didn't have a weapon.
A Deputy officer not in uniform, driving an unmarked vehicle pulls over a citizen. I believe that the Deputy officer did the right thing in pulling over an erratic driver, however, when you are driving an unmarked vehicle and are wearing plainclothes, the VERY first thing you do is show a badge and identify yourself as a Law Enforcement officer! Most plainclothes officers driving an unmarked car will wait for backup from uniformed officers in a marked vehicle to arrive before approaching the car.