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5 Fast Facts

Atatiana Jefferson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed just outside her home by a Fort Worth police offer around 2 a.m. on October 12, 2019. The shooting happened weeks after a Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, was found guilty of murder after accidentally shooting Botham Jean when she mistook his apartment for her own. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Days after her sentencing, a witness in her trial, Joshua Brown, was shot to death in what police said was a drug deal gone bad. The name of the Fort Worth officer who shot Jefferson has not been released. Here is what you need to know.


1. The Police Officer Was in Atatiana Jefferson’s Backyard & Shot Her Through Her Bedroom Window

FacebookAtatiana Jefferson

The police officer, whose name has not been released, was in Atatiana Jefferson’s backyard around 2:25 a.m. on October 12 and shot her through her window, killing her, WFAA reported. Jefferson’s name was released by officials and local media.

The officer responded to a call that a door was open at the home in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas. A map with the approximate location of the shooting is below.

The officer started out by standing outside the open front door, where the screen was shut, and then walked to the side of the house. The lights in the house were on inside when the officer arrived. The video does not show the officer announcing himself at the doorway or knocking.

The officer opened a gate to the backyard, walked into the backyard, and shined a light on different parts of the exterior of the house. He saw a person watching him from inside the house and yelled from the backyard “Put your hands up. Show me your hands!”

The officer then shot through the window.

Officials said the officer “perceived a threat,” WFAA noted. . Fort Worth police said there was a firearm in the residence, but they didn’t say if the officer saw the firearm or not, WFAA noted.

According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office, Jefferson was in her bedroom when she was shot.


2. The Officer Was Responding to a Call for a Welfare Check Made to a Non-Emergency Number

The officer was responding to a call about an “open structure” (meaning an open door) that was made at 2:25 a.m. Both of the neighbor’s vehicles were in the driveway. Units were dispatched at 2:25 a.m., according to the police timeline shared in the raw video footage. The call was made because the neighbors are usually home at that time but the door is never open. Units arrived at the scene at 2:28 and 2:29.

James Smith, the neighbor who made the call, told WFAA that he called a non-emergency police number to ask for a welfare check. He was concerned because the lights were on and the front door was open.

Smith said the officer’s response didn’t make sense. He told WFAA that there was no domestic violence and no arguing. He said: “nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”


3. Bodycam Footage Shows the Shooting

Police released the bodycame footage of the shooting. The full raw footage is embedded below, as released by the police.

WARNING: This footage may be disturbing for some to see. 

After the shooting, officers provided emergency medical care, but Jeffesron died on the scene.


4. Atatiana Jefferson Was Playing Video Games With Her Nephew

FacebookAtatiana Jefferson

Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Botham Jean’s family and who investigated the death of Joshua Brown, a witness in Amber Guyger’s trial, shared the officer’s bodycam footage on Twitter. He said on Twitter that Atatiana Jefferson, known by friends as “Tay,” was playing video games with her eight-year-old nephew in her home when she was shot. She thought she heard a noise in her backyard and was shot when she went to investigate, he said.

The Fort Worth police released the following press release about the shooting:


5. She Studied Biology & Chemistry in College

FacebookAtatiana Jefferson

According to her Facebook page (which was last updated publicly in 2018), Atatiana Jefferson worked at Xavier University of Louisiana, where she also studio biology and majored in chemistry.

In 2014, she shared a petition on her page and wrote: “When you do the crime you do the time. Crimes cannot go unpunished no matter what they are. It makes a mockery of the U.S justice system if people feel comfortable enough to commit crimes. Whether this was his normal behavior or not, he should still be dealt with like any other person in that situation. If I speed I will get a ticket. I may not normally speed but that doesn’t change the fact that I have a ticket. Unless this man has a mental illness or a massive brain tumor that impaired his judgement he needs to be properly dealt with.”

Pastors and activists in the community are seeking answers, wanting to know why she was shot and killed.

The officer is on administrative leave during the investigation. He joined the Fort Worth Police Department in April 2018, NBC DFW reported. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Law Enforcement Incident Team is investigating.

READ NEXT: Joshua Brown’s Shooting: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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