An unidentified police officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation after he shot and killed a woman who was inside her home. A neighbor had called the police after noticing the front porch light was on and the front door was open. Officers say a weapon was recovered from the home, but it’s unclear if the victim had the gun at the time of the shooting.
[Scroll Down For Video]
The Fort Worth Police Department received a call at 2:25 a.m. Saturday morning via their non-emergency number. James Smith, the 62-year-old who made the call to the number, reported his neighbor’s porch light on and her front door open.
In now-released bodycam footage, the responding officer can be seen looking around the exterior of the home before entering the backyard of the home. As he entered the backyard, he noticed a person inside a dark room in the home.
The officer can be heard yelling: “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” before immediately pulling the trigger. The woman, who police named as 28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, received medical attention following the shooting but died at the scene.
A statement from the Fort Worth Police Department stated that the officer perceived the woman as a threat. The police report indicated a firearm was recovered from the home, but it did not clarify if the firearm was on Jefferson or found elsewhere in the house.
Smith has been distraught over the whole incident. “I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”
“It makes you not want to call the police department,” Smith added. “They tell you, ‘If you see something, say something. …Well, if you do that and it costs somebody to lose their life, it makes you not want to do that. And that’s sad.'”
According to the Daily Mail, the officer had been on the force since April 2018. He has not been named.
The shooting has garnered national attention and scrutiny by those in the community. The department issued a statement following the shooting.
“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 resolution.”