A white Fort Worth police officer fatally shot a black woman inside her own home Saturday morning after a neighbor called in a welfare check after noticing the front door was open, officials said.
Officers, searching around the home at 2:25 a.m., saw a figure in the window, perceived a threat and fired a shot, fatally striking Atatiana Jefferson, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Officers tried to perform CPR on Jefferson, 28, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, WFAA reported.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave. He has been with the department since April 2018.
Police located a gun in a bedroom when they entered the house. Investigators did not indicate if Jefferson was holding the firearm.
Police bodycam video shows officers with flashlights and guns drawn scanning the perimeter of the home. The front door appears to be open although the screen door is closed. As officers continue to walk through the property one of them sees a person standing at a dark window and yells: “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” before firing a single shot.
In the video, he does not identify himself as a police officer.
Neighbor James Smith called a nonemergency police phone number after seeing the lights on and the front door open at the house, WFAA reported.
"I called my police department for a welfare check,” Smith told WFAA. “No domestic violence, no arguing, nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”
Smith, who has lived in the neighborhood 50 years, is sorry he called.
“I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault,” Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive."
James Smith said he saw the lights on and front doors open at his neighbor’s home overnight. He said he called a non emergency number for a wellness check. Smith said minutes later he heard a gunshot. @wfaa pic.twitter.com/7XYsVBCFz2— Cleo Greene (@cgreeneWFAA) October 12, 2019
© 2019 Cox Media Group.