A white police officer has fatally shot 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, Atatiana Jefferson, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting which occurred on Saturday in Forth Worth, Texas.
Jefferson was shot and killed while playing a video game in her room with her eight-year-old nephew.
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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 Jefferson.
The Forth Worth Police are yet to release the name of the officer.
According to a police statement, a gun was found inside the home and it wasn’t clear if the woman was in the position to use it at the time of the shooting.
“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” the department said in a news release. “Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price in a statement said Chief of Police Ed Kraus and his command staff would act with “immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.”
“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,” he said.
A lawyer of Jefferson’s family is calling for an outside agency to investigate the fatal killing.
“We don’t think that Fort Worth police should be investigating it on their own,” attorney Lee Merritt told CNN Sunday.
The Neighbor who called the police says he’s battling his conscience after the fatal death of Jefferson.
“I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault,” he said. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” he told Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Jefferson’s death has 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.
Jefferson’s shooting comes 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.