A black woman was shot dead by a white police officer at her home in Fort Worth, Texas, after a neighbor called to report that the woman’s door was open, police said.
Officers searched the perimeter of the woman’s house when they saw a person standing near a window and one of them opened fire and killed her, Fort Worth police said.
The coroner in Tarrant County identified the murdered woman as Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28. She died at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday in her bedroom.
Hours after the shooting, police released a highly edited version of the camera images from the officers body cam. The almost 2-minute video shows the officer walking outside the house with flashlights for a few minutes before one shouts: “Raise your hands! Show me your hands! ”And shoot his gun through a window.
“The Fort Worth Police Department is publishing available images of the body chamber to provide transparent and relevant information to the public, as it is allowed within the limits of the Public Information Law and the next investigation,” police said.
In a statement, police said officers entered the house and gave the woman medical treatment, but she died at the scene.
The department also said that “it shares the public’s deep concerns and undertakes to complete an extremely thorough investigation of this critical police incident for resolution.”
Police have not named the officer involved, who joined the department in April last year. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. The Fort Worth Police Officers Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
James Smith, a neighbor of Jefferson, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he called a non-emergency police number when he saw his neighbors doors open and the lights on in the early hours of the morning. He said he knew Jefferson was at home with her nephew.
He said he was trying to be a good neighbor and called the authorities so they could verify Jefferson.
“I am shocked. I’m angry. I’m upset. And I feel that it is partly my fault,” he told the media. “If I had never called the police department, she would still be alive.”
‘Raise your hands! Show me your hands!’
Police responded to the woman’s house after dispatchers received a call around 2:25 am from a person who said her neighbor’s door was open, police said.
In the video of the body camera, when the police arrive for the first time at the house, the door is open and the lights are on, but no one is seen.
Then, the police walk around the house and into the darkness with a flashlight. At some point, one of them quickly approaches a window with his weapon drawn.
In a matter of seconds, the policeman shouts: “Raise your hands! Show me your hands! ”And shoot out the window. The agent does not appear to identify himself as a policeman before firing his weapon.
The agent took out his gun and fired a shot after “perceiving a threat,” police said. The police found a firearm when they entered the room, according to the department’s statement.
The video posted by the police shows two mostly blurry clips that appeared to be inside the house, showing a firearm.
Mountain Post Gazette requested the the unedited footage from the body cam, a report of the incident and the audio of the call that provoked the response. But a police spokesman said nothing additional will be released at this time.