A Texas Woman Was Fatally Shot By Police In Her Own Home
InStyleOctober 14, 2019
On Saturday, a 28-year-old woman was shot and killed by police in her home in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to NBC News, police were called for a welfare check on a residence with a door that was ajar when an officer opened fire on Atatiana Jefferson, killing her while she was inside the home.
Body camera footage shows the perspective of an officer outside the residence, looking into a window using a flashlight, spotting someone inside standing near a window. The officer is heard saying, “Put your hands up — show me your hands,” before shooting seconds later. At no point does he identify himself as an officer. The shooting occurred less than two weeks after an officer in nearby Dallas was found guilty of fatally shooting a man in his home; in both cases, the officers are white and the victims were Black.
CNN reports that at the time of the shooting, Jefferson had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew while his grandmother was in the hospital, and he was steps away when she was shot.
“It’s senseless,” her father Marquis Jefferson told CNN affiliate KTVT. “You have to know that was somebody’s daughter … Somebody loved her, and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that.”
At around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, police arrived after a neighbor called them, concerned that Jefferson’s front door was open. The neighbor, James Smith, told the Fort Worth Star that he called a non-emergency police phone number because he was worried, and was trying to be a good neighbor.
“I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault,” he said. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”
Following the news, people began to denounce the shooting, calling for a reform of policing and sending their thoughts for Jefferson’s family.
According to CBS, the officer involved in the shooting is on leave, pending the results of the investigation, and is expected to be questioned on Monday. “What the officer observed and why he did not announce police will be addressed as the investigation continues,” Fort Worth Police Lt. Brandon O’Neil said.