The case surrounding the fatal shooting of Botham Jean by a white police officer in Dallas has grown more complicated as residents of the apartment complex wherein the victim was killed are disputing the officer's claims.
After shooting the 26-year-old while he was in his own home, Amber Guyger presented several stories about how she shooting unfolded. Guyger, who is charged with manslaughter, claimed to have accidentally walked into Jean's apartment, thinking it was her own. She thought Jean was an intruder and opened fire before turning on the lights and realizing it was not her own apartment.
According to an affadavit, Guyger claimed the door to Jean's apartment was left ajar when she entered; however, a neighbor in the same complex filmed a video which appears to show the doors automatically close shut and lock when opened.
Melissa Ann, who also resides in South Side Flats, posted a video to Facebook which shows the doors closing.
Melissa also posted videos that showed apartment keys could not be used to open other apartment units, but doors could be left unlocked from the inside. Immediately following the shooting, there was speculation as to how Guyger gained access to Jean's apartment. Although she claims she had no idea it was her apartment before she entered, an attorney for Jean's family says otherwise.
During a news conference on Monday, Jean's family attorney, Lee Merritt, said two sisters who also live in the apartment complex gave statements that contradict the affidavit, reported the Star-Telegram.
“One happened to be in a quiet room reading a book, so she was in the best position to hear things,” Merritt said. “She heard pounding at the door. The other one [witness] was in the living room [of her own apartment] watching TV. She also heard the same pounding at the door.”
He said the witnesses heard shouting before gunshots fired.
“She heard, ‘Let me in!’ followed by ‘Let me in!’ in an elevated tone and then she heard more pounding at the door,” Merritt said. “Then shortly thereafter she heard gunshots.”
Merritt also said one of the witnesses said she heard Jean say, ‘Oh, my God, why did you do that?" which were likely his final words.
Additionally, Jean's family finds it hard to believe Guyger only recognized it was not her apartment after the shooting because Jean's apartment has a bright red doormat on the outside, while hers does not.
“Not only at the front of his door [the red rug outside] but all around his apartment. This is his apartment, this wasn’t her apartment,” Merritt added. “There wouldn’t be the same smell. There wouldn’t be the same furniture. There wouldn’t be the same lighting patterns. There would’ve been a number of identifying markers to alert her including the absence of her dog.”
(Photo: FOX 4)