Atatiana Jefferson was in her bedroom with her nephew at the time she was shot
Atatiana Jefferson was shot dead in her home early Saturday morning by a white male officer with the Fort Worth Police Department in Texas. The officer shot her after responding to a call that the woman’s door was open. He is now on administrative leave.
The 28-year-old black woman was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after emergency responders arrived. NBC News reports that the shooting was captured on the unidentified officer’s body camera, showing him using a flashlight to peer inside Jefferson’s bedroom window and then yelling, “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” then immediately firing his weapon from outside her window.
Relatives said that Jefferson was watching her nephew in her home at the time.
“There was no reason for her to be dead, because there was nothing violent going on. There was no distress at this particular property. They had no reason to come here with guns drawn,” Jefferson’s neighbor, James Smith, told NBC News. He was the one who called the police non-emergency number when he noticed her door was open.
Fort Worth police reported only one shot was fired. The shooting is now under investigation by internal affairs as well as the Tarrant County District Attorney’s law enforcement incident team.
Police did find a gun located inside the home, but the body cam footage doesn’t show anyone holding the gun at the time the officer fired at the window. The police department released a statement via Twitter, saying in part that they are “committed to completing an extremely thorough investigation” of Jefferson’s death.
A GoFundMe has been set up by the family of Jefferson to pay for memorial and funeral costs. The page said in part, “She was a Pre-med graduate of Xavier University. She was very close to her family. She was the auntie that stayed up on Friday night playing video games with her 8 year old nephew. She worked in pharmaceutical equipment sales. Her mom had recently gotten very sick, so she was home taking care of the house and loving her life. There was no reason for her to be murdered.”
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price issued a statement, saying that police “are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case.”
Jefferson’s death comes days after Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty in the death of Botham Jean who was killed inside his apartment when she broke into his home, claiming she thought the apartment was her own and shot him dead.
Smith added, “If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?”