A Black woman was shot and killed by police while she was inside her home early Saturday morning (October 12) after her neighbor called a non-emergency number for a wellness check on her.
Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28, was in her bathroom at her home when she was gunned down, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner in Fort Worth, Texas.
Fort Worth Police issued a statement claiming officers from its central division responded to a call shortly before 2:25 a.m. and searched the perimeter of the house on East Allen Avenue.
An officer then reported seeing someone through the window of the home and drew his weapon, firing one shot that killed Jefferson.
“The individual, a Black female, who resides at the residence succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene,” the FWPD’s statement read. “The officer, a white male who has been with the department since April of 2018, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome [of] the critical police incident investigation.”
Fort Worth police say that after the shooting took place, officers entered the home and found the resident and a firearm. They reportedly then began administering emergency care.
Footage of the incident from the body camera of the officer who shot into the window has been released. In it, the officer spots the open door of the residence, where the lights were on, and subsequently walking around the house’s perimeter with a fellow officer.
After walking through the gate, the officer on the body cam looks through the window where he presumably sees a person. That’s when he raises his flashlight and firearm at the window and screams, “Put your hands up, show me your hands!” He then fires a shot within four seconds.
Texas is an open carry state and it’s unclear whether the gun found in Jefferson’s residence and in the body cam footage was on her at the time of the shooting.
James Smith, the neighbor across the street who made the non-emergency call out of concern, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that two doors at the home were ajar with the lights on. He said that Jefferson lived with an aunt who had been in the hospital and her eight-year-old nephew. He now regrets making the call to law enforcement.
“If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” Smith said to the newspaper. “It makes you not want to call the police department. If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?”
James Smith said he saw the lights on and front doors open at his neighbor’s home overnight. He said he called a non emergency number for a wellness check. Smith said minutes later he heard a gunshot. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/7XYsVBCFz2— Cleo Greene (@cgreeneWFAA) October 12, 2019
According to Atatiana Jefferson’s Facebook page, she was born in Dallas and was a student at Xavier University of Louisiana studying biology.
This latest shooting comes weeks after Amber Guyger, a former cop in neighboring Dallas, was found guilty of fatally shooting Botham Jean, an unarmed Black man in his home. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison on September 6, 2018, a sentence many found to be too light.
Our condolences are with Atatiana Jefferson’s family and friends during this difficult time. We will keep you updated with every detail of this story it progresses.
Dear America,— Jamira Burley (@JamiraBurley) October 13, 2019
Black people are tired of dying, are y’all tired of murdering us yet and no Kanye “church” service or Jay Z apparel won’t save us.
I might be next. #AtatianaJefferson #SayHerName
This is Atatiana Jefferson. She was 28 yrs old, a graduate of Xavier Univ. and lived w/ her nephew.— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) October 13, 2019
A Fort Worth, TX cop shot and killed her thru her window as she stood peacefully and unarmed in her own home.
Black people are subject to deadly force even when they stay home. pic.twitter.com/09dA2nl3v5
28 year old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson shot & killed by police IN HER HOME! Police was called in the early AM because her door was open.— Jerome Trammel (@MrJeromeTrammel) October 12, 2019
White officer seen her shadow through the window, told her to put her hands up & in FOUR SECONDS shot her! #AtatianaJefferson #SayHerName pic.twitter.com/y5kkI1o8qY
Atatiana Jefferson was in her home playing video games when she was murdered by a police officer who took only four seconds to shoot an unarmed and innocent 28 year old woman. May she rest in power. May we never forget her name. May we rage in her memory. #AtatianaJefferson— roxane gay (@rgay) October 13, 2019
You might have thought that watching the #AmberGuyger trial play out in Dallas would impact the culture of the police department in neighboring Fort Worth. NOPE. This is a systemic problem; racism is woven into our police culture. And it’s lethal. #AtatianaJefferson— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) October 13, 2019
She was 28 years old.— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) October 13, 2019
She was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew in her own home.
She was INSIDE THE HOUSE.
Repeat: she. was. inside. her. house. when. they. shot. her.
Say her fucking name because this shit has gone on FAR too long.#TayJefferson #AtatianaJefferson pic.twitter.com/KJGY7c4r9D
Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images