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Texas police chief apologizes for woman shot to death by officer in her own home

Fort Worth Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus apologized Tuesday for the killing of Atatiana Jefferson in her home by a Fort Worth officer. “I’m deeply sorry for what occurred,” Kraus said at a news conference. “Human life is a precious thing and should not have been taken from Ms. Jefferson.”

“This incident has eroded the trust that we have built with our community and we must now work even harder to ensure that trust is restored,” he added.

The officer, Aaron Dean, resigned after Saturday morning’s shooting, and was arrested Monday evening by Fort Worth officers at his attorney’s office on a murder charge.

Dean’s arrest warrant, released to the news media Tuesday, reveals new details about Saturday morning’s encounter: The 8-year-old nephew who was in the home with Jefferson told investigators that his aunt had retrieved her handgun from her purse after hearing noises coming from outside.

“Jefferson raised her handgun, pointed it toward the window, then Jefferson was shot and fell to the ground,” the arrest warrant says, citing the child. Police have said Dean was outside, perceived a threat and shot through the window, striking Jefferson, without having announced himself as a police officer.

Kraus told reporters Tuesday that it would “make sense” that Jefferson had taken out a gun.

“It makes sense that she would have a gun if she felt that she was being threatened, or if there was someone in the back yard,” Kraus said.

Also Tuesday, the attorney for Jefferson’s siblings said he was encouraged that Dean was arrested, but the family is demanding that more people be held accountable.

“This officer was sent by someone. He didn’t come out on his own volition. He wasn’t working a beat. Someone in the higher command sent this officer,” attorney Lee Merritt said at a news conference with Jefferson’s brother and two sisters.

“It should not end with the prosecution of one officer, and it certainly shouldn’t end with an arrest and an incomplete prosecution,” he said.

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