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Fort Worth Officer Arrested For Shooting Woman In Her House

By  James Barrett
Fort Worth police officer patrols the crowd prior to the start of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 on March 31, 2019 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, TX. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After turning in his badge earlier in the day, the officer who shot and killed 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in her home early Saturday morning after responding to a neighbor’s call to a non-emergency police number has been arrested. The shooting, which involved a white officer and a black victim, has sparked racially charged outrage in the community, and the department’s release of body cam footage has only inspired more criticism.

In an update to the case posted online Monday, the Fort Worth Police Department announced that officer Aaron Dean, 34, has been arrested and charged with murder. “Aaron Dean was arrested by Fort Worth Police on Oct. 14. Dean has been charged with murder of Atatiana Jefferson,” the department announced. “Dean is in the Tarrant County Jail.”

In a press release issued soon after the announcement, the department expressed its “deepest condolences to the family of Ms. Jefferson” and provided more details about Dean’s arrest.

“At approximately 6 p.m., Aaron Dean was arrested for the murder of Ms. Jefferson and he has since been booked in Tarrant County Jail,” the statement reads. “Our department is working closely with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. Our Major Case and Internal Affairs Units are continuing to work around the clock to ensure that no stone is left unturned and justice for Ms. Jefferson’s family and community are served.”

“To the citizens and residents of our city: We feel and understand your anger and disappointment and we stand by you as we work together to make Fort Worth a better place for all of us,” the release states.


After being booked Monday evening, Dean was released on a $200,000 bond at 9:15 p.m., according to a Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, The Dallas Morning News reports.

The department held a press conference Tuesday morning addressing the case:

As reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth police responded Saturday to a 2:25 a.m. call on a non-emergency police number from concerned neighbor, James Smith, after he noticed that the front door of Jefferson’s home was left open and the lights were on — something he told the press he found “unusual.” Jefferson, said Smith, was home with her 8-year-old nephew, and he was worried about her wellbeing.

Police arrived, reportedly parking their vehicle around the corner so it was likely not visible to anyone in the house, according to Smith. Two officers, including Dean, began to check the perimeter of the home using flashlights. As body cam footage released by the department Saturday shows, while checking one side of the house, Dean yells, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” then fires a shot through a bedroom window (video below).

The footage also shows two still shots of a handgun police say was found in the bedroom, though it is unclear if Jefferson was holding it when she was shot.

“Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence,” Fort Worth police said in a statement reported by the Star-Telegram. “Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.”

But the lawyer representing Jefferson’s family says she was simply playing video games with her nephew and went to the window to see who was outside, suspecting “prowlers.” The video footage does not show the officer announcing that he is with law enforcement.

UPDATE: Woman Shot By Fort Worth Police Officer In Her Home Pointed Gun At Window

Video released by Fort Worth police below:


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