Sept. 10 (UPI) — Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was arrested Sunday night and faces manslaughter charges after she entered the wrong apartment, believing it was hers, and fatally shot a man in his own home.
Guyger, 30, was booked into the Kaufman County jail and her bail was set at $300,000.
The incident occurred Thursday night, when Guyger, who was off-duty but still in uniform, entered the apartment of 26-year-old Botham Jean, believing it was her apartment, police said. She then shot Jean, who died of gunshot wounds on the way to the hospital.
Police said Guyger had just finished a 15-hour shift and got off the elevator on the fourth floor, instead of the third floor, where she lived. She then opened the door to Jean’s apartment, which was unlocked. The lights were off inside and when she saw a man’s figure, she thought her apartment was being robbed and opened fire. When she turned on the lights, she realized she went into the wrong apartment and killed a man in his own home, according to police.
Internet rumors claiming the two knew each other and were dating were proven to be false, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Last year, Guyger shot a man who allegedly tried to take away her Taser. That shooting was found to be justified and the man was sent to prison for two years for taking an officer’s weapon.
Guyger was not arrested for killing Jean until almost three days after the shooting. Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said on Friday that authorities were preparing a warrant to arrest Guyger on a manslaughter charge, but that was postponed when the investigation was handed over to the Texas Rangers.
Richard Healy Nelson, who lives in the apartment building where the shooting took place, told KDFW-TV the incident was unnerving.
“Super scary because the police are supposed to protect you and then they come home and you’re just hanging out in your own house and then they come home thinking they’re home or whatever,” he said. “I don’t know if she was tired, but that’s pretty scary.”
Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jean’s family, said the delay in charging Guyger only worsened an already tragic situation.
“This family is frustrated. This family is upset. This family is grieving that that has not happened yet,” Merritt said at a prayer vigil Saturday. “We believe that that has not happened yet is differential treatment for law enforcement officers.”
At a press conference Sunday, Merritt said he has presented video evidence and witness testimony to police that contradicts the police narrative of what occurred during the shooting. However, he did not give specifics on what that evidence shows.
Jean, a native of St. Lucia, worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and was remembered by friends and family as a kind, churchgoing man with a powerful singing voice.
“Botham loved mankind,” Jean’s mother, Allison, said Saturday. “Botham never saw color, never saw race. Botham wanted all of us to unite.”