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While on routine foot patrol about a week and a half before the tragic incident, Heiberger met Jairo and his family in the family's store, which was on his beat. As an exception, negligent hiring and retention may be found when the employee has committed a tort “outside scope of employment,” where there is a special relationship, such as landlord-tenant, between the employer and the victim and the tortious conduct arose out of that relationship.
Also that year, he damaged a police vehicle by backing it into a tree, and afterward, he failed to properly report the accident.
During his tenure, he received special training in working with youth and established relationships with adolescent boys in the community, using those relationships to gather information which he used in criminal investigations.
Construed in this light, the record shows that Heiberger worked as a police officer for Norcross from April 1988 through March 1999.
Jairo's parents, David Govea and Teresa Gomez, filed a wrongful death action against Chamblee and Norcross.
On August 11, 2001, 13-year-old Jairo Govea Gomez fatally shot himself with a police service weapon that had been handed to him by Timothy Heiberger, a police officer with the police department of the City of Chamblee (“Chamblee”) and a former police officer with the police department of the City of Norcross (“Norcross”).