Friday vigil held for Paul Heenan

Friday vigil held for Paul Heenan
Paul Heenan, 30, of Madison

Organizers held a vigil for Paul Heenan, the victim of an officer-involved shooting last fall whose death raised questions about disciplinary policy within the Madison Police Department.

The vigil took place Friday night at the City County Building. Participants said they did not want Heenan to be forgotten.

“We wanted to give people a chance to remind the chief that we’re not forgetting about this, that we just don’t fade away,” said Nathan Royko Maurer, Heenan’s roommate. 

The actions of Officer Stephen Heimsness came under public scrutiny when he shot and killed Heenan on Nov. 9 during a burglary call.

Heenan was mistakenly identified as a burglar by residents on the 500 block of Baldwin Street. Heenan, a neighbor was intoxicated and entered into a neighboring home. During the encounter with Himesness, Heenan approached the officer and was shot, according to police. Heimsness said that Heenan attempted to grab his gun in a scuffle, according to a news release by the Dane County District Attorney.

Heimsness was not criminally charged or disciplined by the Madison Police Department. He is still under investigation for unrelated matters.

The Madison Police Department has not announced a review of its use-of-force policy, but Police Chief Noble Wray stated that he will pursue changes to his department’s internal review process. The incident gave way to a statement by Mayor Paul Soglin that he is open to new procedure for investigating use-of-force incidents.