Fort Worth Police officer Aaron Dean shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in her home early Saturday morning after responding to a welfare check. Now days later, he has been booked into the Tarrant County Jail and charged with murder.
According to a CBSDFW, the department announced the news in a tweet around 7:15 p.m. Monday, revealing that the officer had been arrested and charged with murder on October 14 and that he was currently in jail.
Sargent Chris Daniels held a brief news conference and said: “Concerning the status of the criminal investigation, at approximately 6:00 p.m. Aaron Dean was arrested for the murder of Ms. Jefferson. He has since been booked into the Tarrant County Jail. Our department has been working closely with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, our major case unit, internal affairs units and are continuing to work diligently to complete the criminal and administrative investigations into this matter. To the citizens and residents of our city, we feel and understand your anger and your disappointment, and we stand by you as we work together to make Fort Worth a better place for us all.”
Following the incident, Dean resigned from the Fort Worth Police Department before he could be fired after the family and community leaders called for his arrest.
Ahead of the fatal shooting, Jefferson’s neighbor, James Smith, called the department’s non-emergency number after noticing that the front door of Jefferson’s home had been left open since about 10 p.m. Friday. In a statement, Saturday, police said Dean had perceived a threat and drew his weapon while checking her home. He fired once, striking her.
A body-cam video was also released that showed the events leading up to Jefferson’s untimely death. The video shows the officer shining a flashlight into a window and shouting at Jefferson to put her hands up. Giving her no time to register the events occurring, Dean shot her through the window, killing her in own her home.
Dean had only been with the department since April of 2018.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Mayor of Fort Worth Betsy Price addressed both Jefferson’s neighbor and nephew:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“To Mr. James Smith, I know you are hurting today as well. You called police to check on your neighbor because you cared about her safety and wellbeing. You were being a wonderful neighbor and doing the right thing to make sure she was ok. You are the type of person we all want living next door, watching out for us. Atatiana’s death has eroded your own your sense of safety and trust in law enforcement. I’m truly sorry.”
Continuing on, “To Atatiana’s nephew, who has witnessed an unspeakable loss, sorry doesn’t really cut it. This entire city needs to surround him with prayers, support, and anything his family needs.”
Following the arrest, Interim Police Chief Ed Krauss will be holding a press conference on Tuesday from the Tarrant County Jail.