A Texas police officer has been placed on administrative leave after he shot and killed a black woman through an open window in her Fort Worth bedroom early Saturday morning, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the dead woman as Atatiana Jefferson, 28. Police did not identify the officer but said he is white and had been with the department since April 2018.
A neighbor said he called the police non-emergency number and requested a welfare check on Jefferson when he saw lights on and the front door open, according to WFAA.
Fort Worth police released the officer’s body camera footage, and it shows two officers checking the home’s perimeter with flashlights. They are not seen to knock or announce themselves.
One officer walks around the home, opens a gate, and enters the backyard. Suddenly, he turns toward a window and shouts: “Put your hands up. Show me your hands!” before firing one shot through the open window.
“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” a police statement said. “Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”
Officer Involved Shooting – Oct. 12, 2019 pic.twitter.com/tCvn4nySjg
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) October 12, 2019
Along with the video, police released photos of a gun they said officers found inside the residence. They did not say where the gun was found, whether Jefferson was holding it, or whether the officer saw it before he fired.
Jefferson was pronounced dead at the scene.
James Smith, the neighbor who called the non-emergency number, told the Star-Telegram he felt like “it’s partly my fault.”
“If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” he said.
Community leaders and pastors were shaken by the news, coming just days after former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting and killing Botham Jean in his home. Several of them held a news conference later in the day and called on the city to hold the officer accountable.
Pastor Michael Bell of the Greater Saint Stephen Baptist Church told the Star-Telegram he couldn’t understand how a person could be perceived as a threat inside her own home.
“Ain’t no ‘perceived threat’ — unless it’s black folk,” he said. “Just our presence — we’re the threat.”
Fort Worth police did not provide further information, citing the investigation.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a related episode.
[Featured image: Tatiana Jefferson, Facebook]