The police officer went through her backyard and fired without presenting himself or asking any questions.
On early Saturday morning, around 2:20 a.m., Fort Worth police received a welfare call to check on a home that had its front door open and lights on. The man who called the police, James Smith, said he used the non-emergency and not 911 because there was no explicit sign of danger. The home is located in the 1200 block of E. Allen Avenue in the Hillside Morningside neighborhood. When officers arrived, they searched the perimeter of the house and saw a person standing inside, through the window. The Fort Worth Police Department released a statement on Saturday afternoon that claimed an officer perceived a threat that caused him to draw his weapon and shoot. The one shot killed 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The body camera footage from the officer shows him walking through the backyard. He shouts for Jefferson to put her hands up once he spots a figure in the window, but fires his weapon immediately after. Please watch the footage below at your own discretion.
The name of the officer has not been disclosed yet, but it is known that he is a white male who joined the FWPD in April 2018. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.
"She would never have been a threat to anyone. This is why this is so hard to conceive," Jefferson's aunt, Venitta Body, said. Jefferson had been babysitting her nephew at the house that evening.
Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, made the following statement:
"Writing a statement like this is tragic and something that should never be necessary. A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support.Chief Kraus and his command staff are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case."