The shooting early on Saturday, Oct. 13, has become the center of attention as the victim, Atatiana Jefferson, 28, who was a black woman, was shot in her own home by a Texas police officer.
Authorities said the officers responded to a neighbor’s request for a welfare check on the residence, who said the front door of the home was open.
“Responding officers searched the perimeter of the house and observed a person standing inside the residence near the window,” according to the statement. “Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside.”
Jefferson was shot through a window around 2:30 a.m. Officers then went inside and provided emergency medical care to Jefferson, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The Fort Worth Police Department said the officer who shot Jefferson, who has not been identified, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the department’s investigation into the incident.
In a statement, the department said it is “committed to completing an extremely thorough investigation of this critical police incident to its resolution.”
Police released video from a body camera worn by the officer who fired the shot, which shows the officer outside the home, looking into Jefferson’s bedroom window and shouting, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” before firing a single bullet that killed Jefferson.
However, the police department did not respond to question about whether officers ever knocked on Jefferson’s door or identified themselves before she was killed, the HuffPost reported.
Police released photographs of a gun they said that they found in a bedroom at the house. They did not say whether Jefferson was holding the weapon when the officer shot her, according to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
James Smith, the concerned neighbor, told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram that “I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault. If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”
Civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt said Jefferson was a pre-medicine graduate of the Xavier University of Louisiana and was working at the time in pharmaceutical equipment sales.
“Her mom had recently gotten very sick, so she was home taking care of the house and loving her life,” he added. “There was no reason for her to be murdered. None. We must have justice.”
Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew were playing video games when Fort Worth police officer opened fire from outside.