Fort Worth Officer Who Killed Woman Resigns, Chief Apologizes

October 14, 2019 Updated: October 14, 2019

A Fort Worth, Texas, officer who shot a woman inside her home has resigned on Monday, said interim Police Chief Ed Kraus.

Kraus said the officer was handed down a complaint on Sunday and was placed on detached duty. His gun and badge were also taken away, he said.

“My intent was to meet with him today to terminate his employment with the Fort Worth Police Department, however, the officer tendered his resignation this morning before we met,” Kraus said, CNN reported.

The former officer’s name is Aaron Dean, and if he didn’t resign, he would have been fired for policy violations.

28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson
28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson who was shot and killed by a police officer in her Fort Worth, Texas home after a neighbor called dispatchers to report the woman’s front door was open, police said. (Courtesy of Lee Merritt)

Dean is accused of shooting and killing 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson inside her home over the weekend, reported the Dallas News.

When she was shot, Jefferson was in her home “where no one would have expected her life to be in harm’s way, especially not at the hands of a civil servant who had taken the oath to serve and protect,” her family said.

Their attorney, Lee Merritt, called for a federal investigation into the matter.

Kraus said Dean was hired in 2017 and was a licensed officer in April 2018.

Body camera footage shows the officer fired into a room two seconds after starting verbal commands. (Fort Worth Police)

During the incident, Dean shouted commands outside the home, telling someone to put their hands up. He didn’t identify himself as an officer.

Several seconds later, he opened fire into a dark room, according to video footage.

Moments later, Jefferson died after she was shot, and her 8-year-old nephew was nearby, reports said.

“There was no reason for her to be murdered. None,” said Merritt, who was also the attorney for Botham Jean, an unarmed black man who was shot inside his apartment in Dallas. Former officer Amber Guyger, who claimed she entered the wrong apartment next to her’s, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the slaying.

Kraus, meanwhile, issued an apology to the family.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Fort Worth Police Department, I’m so sorry for what occurred,” Kraus said, CBS News reported.

He said that the video footage shows that Dean didn’t act in accordance with department policy.

“Nobody looked at that video and said there’s any doubt this officer acted inappropriately,” Kraus said. “I get it. We’re trying to train our officers better, we’re trying to shore up our policies, trying to ensure they act and react the way the citizens intend them to—that they act and react with a servant’s heart, instead of a warrior’s heart.”

It’s not clear if Dean will face criminal charges in the case.

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