"We'll do everything we can to build community trust," Wray said. "This is the business of policing, unfortunate as it may be, that from time to time, a deadly force situation may arise where a police officer may have to take the life of someone else to save someone else, or to save himself."
Dane County prosecutors have cleared Heimsness any criminal wrongdoing in connection with Heenan's shooting.
Family and friends of Heenan said the shooting was unjustified. They said they are saddened and disappointed by the Madison Police Department's conclusion and also concerned.
"I am actually a little surprised at the relative absence of any disciplinary action at all, and what I would assume is the likelihood that officer Heimsness will be back on patrol at some point, that makes me nervous," said Nathan Royko Maurer, Heenan's former roommate.
Jeff Scott Olson, an attorney for the Heenan family, said he wasn't surprised at all by the Police Department's conclusion and said he can now move forward.
"And finally we can put together everything from the Police Department with everything from our own investigation and make a recommendation to the family and act on their decision," Olson said.
In 2006, Olson represented a man who was reportedly kneed and kicked by Heimsness while being arrested at a downtown bar. While the Madison Police Department determined Heimsness acted within reason for the situation, the man involved received $27,000 in a settlement deal with the city of Madison.
In 2001, Heimsness fired his gun, shooting out the front tires of a car in a university-area parking garage. Heimsness said he thought the driver was going to hit him. He was suspended without pay for 15 days for the incident.
Wray said since Heimsness was exonerated, none of the past incidents came into play in the investigation.
Heenan's sister,Emily Heenan, released a statement asking for an external review of the incident.
"Officer Heimsness is a danger to everyone. His past record and demeanor exemplifies the impulsiveness of his erratic work ethic. I would like to know if Mayor Paul Soglin trusts Officer Heimsness to be placed back to work on the streets of his city," she wrote.
Friends and the Heenan family are planning a rally this Saturday afternoon at the City-County Building. They said the decision to exonerate Heimsness sets a dangerous precedent and they want to question the events the city outlined Wednesday.