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Fort Worth officer fatally shoots woman in her home during welfare check

Jack Howland, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in News & Features

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A white Fort Worth officer fatally shot a black woman inside her home early Saturday morning after police were called to the house to do a welfare check, according to police and the neighbor who called them.

The woman killed was Atatiana Jefferson, 28, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office.

Police released a statement Saturday afternoon saying officers responded at 2:25 a.m. to a report the front door of a home was open in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. James Smith, who called a non-emergency police number, said he saw the doors were open and the lights were on, which struck him as unusual. He knew Jefferson, his neighbor, was home along with her 8-year-old nephew.

Police parked around the corner, so the woman couldn't see them, according to Smith, 62. About 15 minutes later, he said, he heard a loud bang and saw several more officers rush inside.

Bodycam video released by police on Saturday shows two police officers using their flashlights to check the perimeter of the home, inspecting multiple doors that are open with a screen door closed. In the back of home, one officer appears to see a figure through a dark window, and he quickly twists his body to the left.

"Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" he shouts through the window, his gun drawn. He then fires a single shot through the window.


He doesn't identify himself as a police officer in the video.

Police said in the statement the officer, who joined the department in April 2018, saw a person 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," the statement said. "Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care."

Police released photos of a gun they found in a bedroom at the house. Police didn't say whether Jefferson was holding the weapon when the officer shot her.


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