A white Fort Worth officer fatally shot a black woman inside her home early Saturday after police were called to the house to do a welfare check, according to police and the neighbor who called them.
Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was killed in a bedroom, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police released a statement Saturday afternoon saying officers responded at 2:25 a.m. to a report the front door of a home was open in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. James Smith, who called a non-emergency police number, said he saw the doors were open and the lights were on, which struck him as unusual. He knew Jefferson, his neighbor, was home with her 8-year-old nephew.
Police parked around the corner, so the woman could not see them, according to Smith, 62. About 15 minutes later, he said, he heard a loud bang and saw several more officers rush inside.
Body camera video released by police on Saturday shows two police officers using flashlights to check the perimeter of the home, inspecting multiple doors that are open with a screen door closed. In the back of home, one officer appears to see a figure through a dark window, and he quickly twists his body to the left.
“Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” he shouts through the window, his gun drawn. He then fires a single shot through the window.
He does not identify himself as a police officer in the video.
Police said that the officer, who joined the department in April 2018, saw a person standing inside the home near a window.
“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” the statement said. “Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”
Police released photos of a gun they said that they found in a bedroom at the house. Police did not say whether Jefferson was holding the weapon when the officer shot her.