Atatiana Jefferson was a gamer and enjoyed playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion.
The pair was up all night playing “Call of Duty” when police descended on the home after a neighbor called to request a wellness check because the front door was open.
Jefferson, who had a license to carry a gun, heard movement outside and drew her firearm, according to an arrest warrant affidavit for the officer released Tuesday, the Washington Post reports.
This confirmed what many already assumed -- Atatiana was trying to protect herself and Zion from what she thought was an intruder when former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean shot through a bedroom window and killed her.
Dean resigned before Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus could fire him, according to what Kraus told reporters. On Monday (October 14), he was arrested while at his attorney’s office and was charged with murder. Dean is currently out on bond.
In the early morning hours of Saturday (October 12), around 2:30 a.m., police arrived and parked around the corner of Jefferson’s home.
None of the Fort Worth police officers on the scene rang the doorbell or knocked on the door to announce themselves.
Zion told a forensic interviewer that he and his aunt were playing video games in a back bedroom when she “heard noises coming from outside” and “took her handgun from her purse,” the Washington Post reports.
He also explained how Atatiana “raised her handgun, pointed it toward the window” and “was shot and fell to the ground,” according to the affidavit, the Washington Post reports.
Dean was the one on the other side of that window. When he saw movement inside he yelled, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” without identifying himself as law enforcement. A second or two later he fired the fatal shot that killed Atatiana.
She was pronounced dead at the scene.
During an emotional press conference on Tuesday (October 15), Kraus said it “makes sense that she would have a gun if she felt she was being threatened or it there was someone in the backyard.”
According to the affidavit, Dean declined to allow officers investigating the shooting to interview him, the Washington Post reports.
A female officer, identified as C.A. Darch, who was at the scene and agreed to interview with investigators, said Dean was standing between her and the house at the time of the shooting. She also said that through the closed window, she could “only see Jefferson’s face” when Dean opened fire, according to the affidavit, the Washington Post reports.
Therefore, it is unclear whether Dean ever saw Jefferson holding a gun before he shot and killed her.
“The gun is irrelevant,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said on Monday (October 14), adding that Atatiana “was in her own home caring for an 8-year-old nephew.”
The family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, said during a press conference on Monday with the Atatiana’s family how the aspiring doctor did not allow Zion to “check the window.”
“She checked herself,” he said. “I ask myself what would have happened if that little boy went to the window instead of his auntie.”
Black pastors and community leaders gathered in Fort Worth on Wednesday (October 16) to push for a federal consent decree to “stop police killings of African-Americans.”
“We are at a crossroads, we have lost trust in our police department and we are in need of federal consent decree in Fort Worth, Texas,” said Pastor Kyev Tatum, of the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, NBC 5 reports.
Ironically, on Thursday (October 17), a National Consent Decree Conference is being held in Fort Worth at Tarleton State University in the school of Criminology.
“We’ll have federal judges, we’ll have federal prosecutors, we’ll have federal monitors, we’ll have chief of police from all over the country right here in our beloved city of Fort Worth,” one minister said during Wednesday’s gathering as seen in a video posted to Facebook.
“The city will be on full display,” the pastor continued, “because it does not have respect for the African-American community the way anybody in the 21st century with a heart should have.”
(Photo: Kimberly Dela Cruz / EyeEm)