UPDATE: The officer involved in the shooting of Atatiana Jefferson has resigned.
34-year-old Aaron Dean left the force on Monday. Interim Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said in a press conference that he had intended to fire Dean who had been on the force for a little more than a year but Dean resigned before he could.
Jefferson’s oldest sister Ashley Carr said that Jefferson had moved back to the Dallas area to care for her ailing mother who is currently hospitalized and in declining health. The Fort Worth Police Department has submitted the case to the FBI for review.
Dean was set to be interviewed Monday morning but resigned before answering questions. He has not been cooperative and his record will reflect a “dishonorable discharge” according to Kraus.
ORIGINAL STORY: A black woman was shot and killed by police inside her own home early Saturday morning in Fort Worth, Texas, minutes after her neighbor called a non-emergency police number because her front door was open.
Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28, was shot in a bedroom at her home around 2:30 a.m.
The Fort Worth Police Department said in a statement that officers responded to a call around 2:25 a.m. and searched the perimeter of the house. An officer stated they saw someone through the window of the home and drew his weapon, firing one shot that killed the woman.
It’s the seventh time Fort Worth PD has shot someone since June 1st and the sixth fatal shooting.
“The individual, a black female, who resides at the residence succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene,” the Fort Worth PD’s statement reads. “The officer, a white male who has been with the department since April of 2018, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome [of] the critical police incident investigation.”
Officers entered the residence to find the resident and a firearm and began administering emergency care after the shooting, according to the FWPD statement.
Body camera footage of the incident was released from the officer who shot Jefferson’s perspective. He can be seen noticing the open door at the residence and then walking around the home with another officer. He then opens a gate and walks to a darker part of the yard holding a flashlight.
Seconds later, he looks through the window, where he saw a person, raising his flashlight and his gun. He asks, “Put your hands up, show me your hands,” before firing a single shot — all in less than four seconds.
He did not identify himself as a police officer in the video.
“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” the statement said. “Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”
A weapon was found in the bedroom of the home but it is unclear if Jefferson was holding a gun when she was shot and killed according to police.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave.
The neighbor, James Smith, who called the police concerned about the welfare of the woman says he’s shaken by the shooting.
“If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” Smith said. “It makes you not want to call the police department. If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?”
Jefferson, a native of Dallas, attended Xavier University in Louisiana. She lived at the home with her nephew and an aunt who was currently in the hospital. The killing has residents drawing comparisons to the shooting death of Botham Jean by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of murder last month.
IMAGE CREDIT: Facebook