Atatiana Jefferson was brutally murdered at her mother’s house as she played video games with her nephew.
Jefferson’s mother was in hospital at the time of her murder, the little boy told Jefferson’s sister.
The man behind the murder was identified as a police officer: Aaron Dean from Fort Worth.
According to the Guardian, the suspect had gone to the home to allegedly conduct a welfare check.
Neighbors told CNN that they saw the officer through the window pointing his gun at Jefferson.
He yelled at her: “Put your hands up, show me your hands.” Aaron had not identified himself as a police officer, the Guardian reports.
A few seconds later, the sound of gun shots rent the air.
The suspect has since been arrested and charged with murder: the court directed that he be given a bond of $200,000 (Ksh. 20million).
Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her eight-year-old nephew in the early hours of Saturday morning, her family’s lawyer said, when she was killed by the officer who was outside the property, had not parked in front of the house, did not identify himself and appears to have given her no time to respond to his initial command before shooting through a window.
Body camera footage released by police shows an officer with a flashlight walk around the house. He appears to catch sight of someone inside, yells, “Put your hands up, show me your hands,” then fires a shot through a window less than a second later.
Jefferson died at the scene.
“The family of Atatiana Jefferson is relieved that Aaron Dean has been arrested & charged with murder. We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing. The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing,” Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jefferson’s family, said on Twitter.
“There is simply no justification for his actions,” Ashley Carr, Jefferson’s oldest sister, said at a press conference on Monday morning. “She was enjoying her life in her home, where no one would have expected her life to be in harm’s way, especially not in the hands of a civil servant who had taken the oath to serve and protect.
“We demand justice for Atatiana through an independent, thorough and transparent process.”
However, according to Sergeant Chris Daniels, police declined to say whether Dean was arrested by a Fort Worth officer or if he turned himself in.
They however said they were working to swiftly conclude the investigation.
The deceased was a graduate from Xavier University of Louisiana and had a degree in Biology.
Xavier University President Reynold Verret told CNN: “We should expect safety when we call on our police, whose mission is to protect and serve, sadly, our fathers and mothers must caution daughters and sons on their interactions with officers. Families in our communities hesitate to call on their protectors out of fear that they be killed. This should not be.”