A black woman was fatally shot in her home Saturday after a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer fired into a bedroom window while performing a welfare check at her residence, sparking outrage and calls for police accountability in a community whose trust in law enforcement had already been shaken by other police shootings and the death of Botham Jean in nearby Dallas.
At around 2 am local time on October 12, a neighbor of 28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson called a non-emergency hotline, saying that he was concerned about an open door at the woman’s residence and wanted to make sure she was okay. According to a statement released by the Fort Worth Police Department, officers arrived at the home at around 2:25 am, and after seeing the open door, walked around the perimeter of the residence.
The department said that while doing so, officers saw a person inside standing near a window. “Perceiving a threat the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” police said.
That person was Jefferson, who was shot while standing in a bedroom. After firing, officers entered the home and began providing emergency aid, but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The department released body camera footage of the shooting on Saturday, showing what happened outside of Jefferson’s home, as well as the residence itself, which had a door open and the lights on inside. The video shows two officers walking around the outside of Jefferson’s home, looking into screen doors before walking into the backyard. Moving towards a closed window on the first floor, one of the officers quickly points a flashlight at it before drawing his weapon.
He then yells, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” before firing a shot less than a second later. At no point in the released video do the men clearly identify themselves as police officers.
This is just murder, flat-out.