The father of Atatiana Jefferson has died nearly a month she was brutally shot and killed by a white police officer in her Texas home.
According to reports, Marquis Jefferson, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack.
“It’s just sad because of grief. I don’t know what else to say,” Bruce Carter, spokesperson for Jefferson was quoted as saying by NBC 5 DFW.
“Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week. He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”
Jefferson died Saturday, The Associated Press reported. The death of his 28-year-old daughter sparked national uproar and heightened mistrust in law enforcement in the U.S.
A white police officer fatally shot Atatiana, an unarmed black woman in her home, killing her instantly after the police were called to the neighborhood for a welfare check.
The 28-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting which occurred in Forth Worth, Texas. She was shot and killed while playing a video game in her room with her eight-year-old nephew.
The fatal shooting was captured on the officer’s body camera. NBC Dallas-Forth Worth reports that the footage shows the perspective of the officer outside a home.
He was peering inside a window using a flashlight, spotting someone inside standing near a window and telling her, “Put your hands up — show me your hands,” before opening fire. According to the police, one shot was fired.
The officer who did not identify himself in the video has been with the force since April 2018. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the Saturday shooting that killed Atatiana.
Civil rights lawyer S. Lee Merritt, who is representing Jefferson’s family, said he was “saddened” to learn of Marquis Jefferson’s death and that “he knew and loved Atatiana Jefferson since she was born.”
“Her death rocked the nation but no one felt it more than the people that were directly tied to her in life,” Merritt said. “Those people haven’t had a chance to grieve like normal families.”
Julián Castro, Democratic candidate hopeful for President, tweeted that Marquis Jefferson’s death “is a reminder that the victims of police violence also include the families of those killed.”
Our hearts are with the family of Atatiana Jefferson as they suffer another loss. Atatiana’s father, Marquis Jefferson, passed away from a heart attack.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) November 10, 2019
His death is a reminder that the victims of police violence also include the families of those killed.https://t.co/ETIWcYxEzV
Jefferson’s death stirred uproar as religious leaders vow to scrutinize the investigation.
“Stop this shooting first and asking questions later, especially when it comes to our community,” Pastor B.R. Daniels Jr. of Beth Eden Missionary Baptist Church, said on Saturday in a video posted by the Forth Worth Star-Telegram of a gathering at the Greater Saint Stephen First Church.
Her shooting came barely two weeks after the Dallas Country Jury convicted and subsequently jailed a former Dallas Police officer 10 years for fatally shooting and killing an unarmed black man in his home.
Amber Guyger, 31, murdered Jean in cold blood last year after she ‘mistakenly’ went to his apartment thinking it was hers. When her key did not work, Jean opened the door and was fatally shot.