A former Fort Worth police officer accused of fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson inside her home last October has been indicted for murder.
Aaron Dean was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury early Friday morning. A trial date has not yet been set.
Dean was the officer called to Jefferson’s residence at around 2:30 a.m. on October 12th for a welfare check after a neighbor called a non-emergency number to report her front door had been open for some time and that he was concerned. Dean and another officer began searching the outside of the home on what is called an “open structure call” where a different level of response from police could occur if they believe the structure is open as a result of criminal activity as opposed to a general welfare check where someone inside the home may need assistance.
Jefferson had no knowledge that the police were called or that they were outside her home. She was playing video games with her nephew when they heard a noise in the back yard. Jefferson, believing something was wrong, grabbed her handgun from her purse and walked toward a window. Dean, who had entered the back yard investigating the call, ordered her to put her hands up before firing his weapon through her window, killing her.
Body camera video show the incident lasting no more than a few seconds.
Dean resigned from the force days later before he was charged. Then interim Cheif of Police Ed Krauss told reporters that Dean was actually fired and that there was “absolutely no excuse” for shooting Jefferson.
Kraus said, “It makes sense that she would have a gun if she felt that she was being threatened or that there was someone in the back yard.”
In the months since the shooting, one of Jefferson’s staunchest defenders, her father, died of a heart attack in November. Many family friends and supporters said that Marquis Jefferson died of a broken heart.