Atatiana Jefferson was killed on Saturday (October 12) by a single shot from a police officer who fired through a window into the home while responding to a call to check on the well-being of those inside, police said in a statement.
The unidentified officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the police department and the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, police said.
Memories are still fresh in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of a Dallas police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man inside his own apartment after she walked in accidentally, thinking it was her home. On Oct. 1, a jury convicted the former officer, Amber Guyger, of murdering 26-year-old Botham Jean while he ate ice cream.
That marked a rare instance of a police officer being convicted in a series of fatal shootings of African Americans in recent years that have exposed racial tensions in the United States.
Body camera video showed police approaching the house with flashlights, whispering to each other in the dark. As one officer looks through a bedroom window, he suddenly yells, “Put your hands up; show me your hands,” then fires. He does not identify himself as a police officer.
Forth Worth police said in a statement the department “shares the deep concerns of the public and is committed to an extremely thorough investigation.”
Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when they heard what they believed to be a prowler outside, the Star-Telegram reported, citing her relatives’ attorney. When she went to the window to check, she was shot, the attorney said.
Neighbor James Smith told reporters he called police after he noticed the door was open, which he said seemed abnormal and made him worry for his neighbors’ well-being.
(Production: Kia Johnson)