Oct. 13 (UPI) — A white male police officer shot dead a 28-year-old black woman in her own home after a neighbor summoned police that her front door was open, police in Fort Worth, Texas, said Saturday.
The unidentified officer, who has been on the force since April 2018, has been placed on administrative leave, the police department said in a news release.
The woman has been identified as Atatiana Jefferson, the family attorney, Lee Merritt, posted on Twitter. She was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, he wrote.
Around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, officers arrived at the home after a call that the front door of the house was open.
Officers searched the perimeter and noticed someone 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,” a police statement says.
A firearm was found inside the home, authorities say.
“The Fort Worth Police Department shares the deep concerns of the public and is committed to completing an extremely thorough investigation of this critical police incident to its conclusion,” the department said in the news release.
The police department released bodycam footage of the incident.
During the one-minute and 20-second footage, officers are seen moving outside the home and into the backyard with flashlights shining. One officer shouted at Jefferson to put her hands up. Seconds later she was shot through a screened window.
A neighbor, James Smith, told KTVT-TV he saw no lights and heard no sirens. In addition, he said no officers identified themselves before the shooting.
“Three or four tactical officers come from around the corner, somehow walk across the street in front of her house, past the front door which was open … Go down the side of her house to the rear of her house, and in less than a minute I heard gunshots,” he said.
Merritt, the family’s attorney, told KTVT-TV: “The hardest part about it is I spoke with an 8-year-old who explained what it was like inside of the house.”
On Oct. 2, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who is white, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man in his apartment last year.