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Madison Police Department releases full investigative file on shooting of Paul Heenan by Officer Stephen Heimsness (updated)

Officer Stephen Heimsness
Credit:Madison Police Department
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The Madison Police Department released its investigative file Friday on the Nov. 9 officer-involved shooting that left Paul Heenan dead on South Baldwin Street.

The file contains what the police department says are all records regarding the death of Heenan and its subsequent investigation, including police reports, videotapes and interviews. The training and disciplinary files of Officer Stephen Heimsness, who shot and killed Heenan, are also included.

The records include:

  • A response letter issued by the Madison Police Department in response to requests for information on the investigation of the Heenan shooting and Officer Heimsness' employment records.
  • The complete investigation by the Madison Police Department into the Nov. 9, 2012 shooting of Heenan by Officer Heimsness.
  • An employee history of Officer Heimsness.
  • The complete investigation by the Madison Police Department into a 2006 incident involving Officer Heimsness.
  • The complete investigation by the Madison Police Department into a 2001 incident involving Officer Heimsness.

The report comes after two months of public unrest after Madison police and the Dane County District Attorney cleared Heimsness of any misconduct. Concerned community members have repeatedly called for an outside investigation into the shooting and more transparency from police in the weeks since.

Heimsness responded to a burglary-in-progress call in the early morning of Nov. 9 and discovered Heenan wrestling with a man who matched the description of the homeowner outside, according to police. Heimsness drew his firearm but Heenan still did not comply with Heimsness' orders to stop, instead turning on the officer and beginning a physical altercation with him.

Heimsness believed Heenan was attempting to take his gun. After a brief struggle, he pushed Heenan away and fired three shots, killing the 30-year-old.

It was later learned Heenan was intoxicated and mistakenly entered his neighbor's house.

A presentation of a portion of the investigative file follows.

The centerpiece of the release is the complete 782-page report by the department on the Heenan shooting.

This and other materials released by the Madison Police Department were accompanied by a letter that explains which investigation records are included in the release, the type of details that have been redacted, and which information has been withheld. This letter follows.


The records release included 252 photos of the department's investigation into the shooting. They are presented in a slideshow that follows.


Other evidence released by the department includes the original 911 call that preceded the shooting of Heenan, Madison Police Department radio communications regarding the incident, and video footage from dashboard cameras of patrol cars arriving at the scene after the shooting.


[Editor's note: Thom Jones, Jason Joyce and Kristian Knutsen contributed to this report. It has been updated with materials released by the Madison Police Department on its investigation into the shooting.]

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