Atatiana Jefferson’s Father Speaks Out; Calls Her Death By Cop ‘Senseless’

Atatiana Jefferson’s Father Speaks Out; Calls Her Death By Cop ‘Senseless’

“My daughter was 28 years old. Had her whole life in front of her.”

Published October 14th

Written by Zayda Rivera

Atatiana Koquice Jefferson was shot and killed inside her home by a Fort Worth Police officer. 

What many are calling murder is eerily familiar to the death of Botham Jean, who was killed by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger

“Unlike Botham Jean, I don’t want no hug,” Jefferson’s father, Marquis, told CBS 11 in Fort Worth. “That’s my one and only daughter. I’ll never forget that.” 

He described the killing of his 28-year-old daughter as “senseless.” 

Jefferson was a pre-med student at Xavier University who was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales to save up for medical school. 

“When she was growing up, I read to her a lot. I bought her a lot of books,” Marquis recalled. “Oh, she loved to read all the time. Her mother would tell me, ‘She’s in there reading, reading, reading.” 

The aspiring doctor was gunned downed in her home on Saturday morning (October 12) after her neighbor, James Smith, called a non-emergency number for a wellness check on her after seeing her door open at approximately 2:30 a.m., CBS This Morning reports. 

“Her mother called me yesterday morning. She said, ‘Tay was shot,’” Marquis told CBS 11. “I mean, it’s senseless. My daughter was 28. My daughter was 28 years old. Had her whole life in front of her.

“I have nothing against the neighbor,” Marquis added. “If you see something going on at my house with my daughter… you need to call police. But it’s the way that the police acted.”

Fort Worth Police responded to a call shortly before 2:25 a.m. and searched the perimeter of the house Jefferson lived in on East Allen Avenue, according to a statement issued by the police.

An officer reported seeing someone through the bedroom window of the home and he drew his weapon. Jefferson was killed with one shot. 

Turns out Jefferson was up late playing video games with her nephew, according to CBS This Morning

“I called because I was concerned for my neighbors,” Smith told CBS. 

In the recorded audio of the call, Smith could be heard saying, “Well, the front doors have been open since 10 o’clock and I haven’t seen moving around.” 

“What I witnessed was three or four tactical officers coming from around the corner. Seemed like in less than a minute I heard gunshots,” Smith told CBS. 

“Put your hands up. Show me your hands. Show me your hands,” the officer shouted through the closed window before firing his gun once and killing Jefferson, as seen in his bodycam. 

He never identified himself as police before he shot into the window. Jefferson’s nephew was just steps away, according to CBS. 

“What the officer observed and why he did not announce police will be addressed as the investigation continues,” Fort Worth Police Department Lieutenant Brandon O’Neil said at a press conference, CBS reports. 

Fort Worth police said they did find a gun inside Jefferson’s home, but they’re not saying whether it was related to the shooting. 

The officer, who shot and killed her, is currently on administrative leave. His name has not been released publicly. 

“You have to know that was somebody’s daughter,” Marquis said. “Somebody loved her and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that.” 

He said their last conversation was, “I texted her, I said I loved her and she texted me back and said, ‘I love you too.’”

Activist Shaun King posted a video of Jefferson on Instagram and wrote, “Sad that we have to share this, but @LeeMerrittEsq and I have long since learned that police departments and DA’s will destroy the character of their victims if you let them. Atatiana Jefferson was a kind, brilliant soul. Shot and killed in her own home by the Fort Worth Police Department.” 

(Photo: Kimberly Dela Cruz / EyeEm)

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